January 8, 2014 4:28:53 pm
The US has called for fresh polls in Bangladesh that reflect the will of the people, even as it expressed strong concern over the just concluded general election which it alleged was neither credible nor fair.
“We have been very clear about our strong concerns about the selection and what we think the way forward should be. We believe Bangladesh still has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to democracy by organising free and fair elections that are credible in the eyes of the Bangladeshi people,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said.
“We did note that we were disappointed by the recent parliamentary elections, especially because so many of the seats were uncontested or only had token opposition. Obviously, we believe going forward things should be done very differently,” she said on Monday.
Bangladesh still has a chance to have a different future, Harf said, adding that the US condemns in the strongest terms the violence coming from all quarters.
“(We) believe that violence has no place in a democratic process, and encourage Bangladesh going forward, the parties – all parties and all sides – to come together and move away from that kind of violence,” she said.
Hasina to Zia: ‘Shut up’ and negotiate
Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina Tuesday asked her arch rival BNP chief Khaleda Zia to “shut up” even as she signalled her willingness to start a dialogue to end months of political unrest. “You could not resist the elections. You’ll not be able to do anything. Better keep your mouth shut,” Hasina said.
7 arrested for attacks on Hindus
Seven activists of the opposition BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami were arrested for attacks on Bangladesh’s minority Hindu community in Jessore and Dinajpur even as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Tuesday promised stern action against the perpetrators.
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