To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Commonwealth about any request from either the Bangladesh Awami League or the Bangladesh National Party for it to observe the forthcoming elections.
13 November 2018
Election observation by the Commonwealth would be a decision for the Commonwealth in dialogue with the Government of Bangladesh. We welcomed the Commonwealth Secretary General's visit to Bangladesh in August this year, and her call at that time for participatory elections.
I am clear that the UK wants to see a free, fair and inclusive election in Bangladesh and I have consistently encouraged the Government of Bangladesh and opposition parties to engage in an effective dialogue to this end. During the Minister for Asia and the Pacific’s visit to Bangladesh, 29 June - 1 July, he made clear concerns regarding the prospects for the election to senior members of the Government of Bangladesh, including State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shahriar Alam, and members of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. The Foreign Secretary underlined the importance of free, fair and non-violent elections in Bangladesh with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when they met on 24 September at the UN General Assembly in New York.