Bangladesh’s interest first
The European Parliament has urged the government and the opposition to put the best interests of Bangladesh first and find a compromise which would give a chance to the people to express their democratic will.
It also regretted that the Bangladesh Parliament did not manage to achieve an all-party consensus for exercising the power by the government in the pre-election period, considering that most democracies manage this phase without a caretaker government.
The European Parliament (EP), which passed three separate resolutions on Thursday, urged calm in the run-up to elections in Bangladesh.
It called on all parties not to boycott the elections as this would deprive citizens of a political choice and undermine Bangladesh’s social and economic stability and its impressive development progress.
In its 15-point resolution, members of the EP also urged all groups and individuals to exercise tolerance and restraint, especially in the lead-up to, during and after the elections.
The Bangladesh Election Commission should organise and oversee the next general elections in a fully transparent manner, support the recognition of new political parties and meet reasonable criteria for political participation and representation, said the resolution.
Expressing its grave concern over the continuing paralysis in everyday life due to general strikes organised by the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami, the EP urged all political parties to refrain from committing any violence during the electoral process.
The resolution also acknowledged the need for reconciliation, justice and accountability for the crimes committed during the Liberation War in 1971.
It expressed alarm over the increasing numbers of people on death row and the mass death sentences handed down in the trials of those involved in the 2009 border guard mutiny.
The EP called on the government to restore the enabling environment for civil society organisations and human rights defenders so that they can carry out their activities freely.
It urged the authorities to carry out prompt, independent and transparent investigations into cases involving violations of the rights of human rights defenders, in particular the cases of labour leader Aminul Islam and journalists Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi.
The EP in its resolution also urged European and other international clothing brands to fulfil the promises and pledges made in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, including under the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.