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Bangladesh: Elections

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL11616, tabled on 20 November 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they are making to the government of Bangladesh to ensure that the forthcoming general election in that country is held in conditions which are free, fair, and without violence.

Answered on

4 December 2018

‚ÄčThe British Government has been clear and consistent that we wish to see a free, fair, pluralistic and non-violent election in Bangladesh on 30 December. We have repeatedly encouraged the Government of Bangladesh and opposition parties to engage in an effective dialogue to this end. I am pleased that the opposition group, the Jatiya Oikya Front, including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, have said they would take part in the election.

Through our High Commission in Dhaka we have been clear that the Election Commission should be allowed to continue its important work without interference. We have consistently made the case for international oversight of the election and the EU has agreed to send an Election Expert Mission. The UK will also support local observation of the general election through a Department for International Development-funded programme.

The Foreign Secretary raised his concerns regarding the next election in Bangladesh with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when they met at the UN General Assembly in New York on 24 September. In a call on 1 November with State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shahriar Alam, the Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field, again made the case for a free, fair and participatory election. As did I when I spoke to him on the 23 November.