Condemning violence in Bangladesh, the United Nations has urged all sides to show restraint and ensure a peaceful post electoral environment in the country.
The USA and the European Union have also denounced violence over the just concluded parliamentary elections, and called for addressing all electoral complaints in a peaceful manner.
Welcoming the participation of all major political parties in the general election for the first time in 10 years, they said it was a positive development which reflected aspirations of people for democracy.
The spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement on Monday said, “The United Nations is aware of violent incidents and reports of irregularities in the Bangladesh general election.”
The UN regretted the loss of life and injuries sustained by candidates and voters during the electoral campaign and on the voting day, it said.
The US in a statement yesterday commended the Bangladeshis who voted in the election as well as the decision of all major opposition parties to participate.
“The United States remains deeply invested in the future of Bangladesh and its democratic development. The United States is Bangladesh's largest foreign investor, largest single-country market for Bangladeshi exports, and home to a large community of Americans of Bangladeshi origin,” said Robert Palladino, deputy spokesperson of the US state department.
However, it expressed concern over reports of harassment, intimidation, and violence in the pre-election period saying that those incidents made it difficult for many opposition candidates and their supporters to meet, hold rallies, and campaign freely. “We are also concerned that election-day irregularities prevented some people from voting, which undermined faith in the electoral process.”
He said his country strongly encourages all parties to refrain from violence and request the EC to work constructively with all sides to address claims of irregularities.
“Bangladesh's impressive record of economic development and respect for democracy and human rights are mutually reinforcing, and we look forward to continue working with the ruling government and opposition towards advancing these interrelated goals,” reads the statement.
The EU said the mobilisation of voters and the participation of the opposition in the polls reflected the people's aspirations for democracy.
“However, violence has marred the election day, and significant obstacles to a level playing field remained in place throughout the process and have tainted the electoral campaign and the vote,” an EU spokesperson said in a statement yesterday.
Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy of the EU, in his statement said the relevant authorities should now ensure a proper examination of allegations of irregularities and commit to full transparency in their resolution.