EU should send its observers for polls
The Election Exploratory Mission of the European Union yesterday wanted to know from reporters about professional challenges the media might face while covering the next general election in Bangladesh.
The issue of media freedom came up for discussion when the EU delegation met a small group of senior reporters at the EU embassy in the capital.
The reporters shared their experiences with the EU mission about covering previous elections and the possible challenges that journalists may face in remote areas.
During the discussion, a reporter wanted to know why Jamaat-e-Islami was invited to a discussion given the fact that the European Parliament in a resolution in 2014 urged the BNP to "cut ties" with Jamaat and said that political parties associated with "terrorist acts" should be banned.
Before the meeting with reporters, the EU delegation had a separate meeting with four editors at the same venue.
The reporters encouraged the delegation to support sending election observers regardless of what the next parliamentary polls may look like.
Daily Jugantor Chief of Correspondents Masud Karim, Channel i Special Correspondent Pantho Rahman, Jamuna Television Special Correspondent Mahfuz Mishu, UNB Special Correspondent AKM Moinuddin and Channel 24 Senior Reporter Morshed Hassib Hasan were present at the meeting.
The visiting delegation started working in Bangladesh on July 2 to assess the situation on the ground ahead of the national election, scheduled to be held in late December this year or early January next year.
The EU delegation, led by Riccardo Chelleri, has held over 70 meetings so far. The team is scheduled to leave Bangladesh on July 23.
A technical team of the EU mission will further discuss the relevant issues with the Election Commission on July 18-19.
The main objective of the mission is to assess the "advisability, usefulness and feasibility" of a possible EU Election Observation Mission for the upcoming parliamentary election, according to the EU mission in Dhaka.