Commonwealth hails leaders' readiness for talks | The Daily Star
04:00 PM, February 04, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Commonwealth hails leaders' readiness for talks

Commonwealth hails leaders' readiness for talks

The Commonwealth has welcomed the position of the Awami League and BNP leaders as they expressed readiness to hold a dialogue with early and inclusive election in mind.

The organisation also expressed eagerness to support a purposeful dialogue towards a framework for future election that fully reflects the will of the people and respects the principle of democratic constitutionalism, said a press statement of Richard Uku, spokesperson and director of Communications & Public Affairs Commonwealth Secretariat.

“It is a welcome development that leaders of the major political parties have expressed a readiness to talk, with early and inclusive elections in mind," said the press release published on February 3 quoting the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma as saying.

"The Commonwealth is committed to upholding and promoting democratic culture, including the inalienable right of all citizens to participate in free and fair elections," the statement added.  

Commonwealth, the voluntary association of 53 independent countries, also said that it is ready to assist the Election Commission of Bangladesh in further strengthening its functions and effectiveness.

The Commonwealth continues to follow political developments in Bangladesh closely after its election on January 5 adding that the organisation "stands ready to provide whatever support may be considered helpful in the post-election period".

The politically motivated violence and loss of life and injuries in the run-up to the elections was a matter of profound concern, and a threat to the orderly conduct of democratic elections, to which all Commonwealth members are committed.

"Attacks on minority communities are particularly reprehensible for a Commonwealth which attaches the greatest importance to respect for diversity and equality. It is encouraging that such incidents have declined. We welcome the recent public statements by leaders of the major political parties that violence and attacks on minorities are unacceptable. These attacks must cease altogether," the press statement added.

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