12:00 AM, December 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:48 AM, December 19, 2018

US encourages participatory, peaceful election

Ambassador Miller says after meeting BNP leaders

US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl R Miller yesterday urged all to refrain from violence, and participate in the December 30 election peacefully.

He made the call after emerging from a meeting with BNP leaders at the party chairperson's Gulshan office.

"We must eschew violence of any form," he said, adding, "The United States continues to encourage a free, fair, credible, participatory, tolerant and peaceful national election." 

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, along with other senior leaders of the party Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Ameer Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and Abdul Awal Mintoo were present at the meeting that started at 12:50pm and continued for about 20 minutes.

"We are concerned about the reports of violence, as I have said before... We all must eschew, avoid violence; and we all must condemn violence. That's the conversation we just had," Ambassador Miller said.

The system simply cannot work if everyone does not have access to the field and to the polls, he said. "I encourage everyone to go out and campaign freely and fully; and participate in the December 30 election."

BNP leaders who joined the meeting said they also discussed various other issues, including jailing of Khaleda Zia, cancellation of her candidacy, 'ongoing arrest' of opposition

leaders and activists and filing of cases against them, and attacks on BNP candidates and their supporters at different parts of the country.

After the meeting, Mirza Fakhrul told journalists that the US ambassador discussed the overall election atmosphere in the country with them.

The US also expects that the election will be held in a peaceful manner where voters will not be obstructed from going to polling station and candidates will be able to carry out campaigns freely, he added.

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