The Commonwealth would decide whether it would send observers for the next general elections in Bangladesh after considering its political situation, Martin Kasirye, head of the democracy section of the Commonwealth Secretariat, said yesterday.
“It is too early to say that…. We are not in a position to say what the secretary general [of the Commonwealth] will
decide,” the visiting official observed.
Kasirye was talking to reporters at the Election Commission Secretariat after a meeting between a three-member Commonwealth delegation and Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad.
“The mission has come to the country to discuss the preparations for the polls, to discuss the situation in the country. We will meet with political parties, civil society members and diplomats to discuss the arrangements for the polls,” Kasirye said.
He refused to comment on the current political stalemate.
Talking to reporters, the CEC said the Commonwealth representative had come as part of a preliminary mission to assess the situation ahead of the elections.
In the past, the Commonwealth has sent a preliminary mission before every election in the country. The mission submits a report to the headquarters, which then decides whether to send the main mission to observe the polls, the CEC added.
Meanwhile, the EC yesterday decided to request the authorities concerned to transfer six policemen holding the ranks from inspector to assistant superintendent of police in different districts.
“Some allegations against them have led us to take the decision,” Election Commissioner Shah Nawaz told The Daily Star, without mentioning what the allegations were.
The 10th parliamentary elections are scheduled for January 5.