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EC is totally independent to conduct election: PM Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday reiterated that the Election Commission is totally independent to conduct the country’s next general election.

She said this when visiting British Minister of State (Indo-Pacific) of Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Anne-Marie Trevelyan paid a courtesy call on her at Ganabhaban here on Sunday morning.

During the meeting, they discussed different issues including election, Rohingyas and economic development of Bangladesh, Covid-19 pandemic and post-Covid situation, UNB reports.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

About the next general election, the premier said Bangladesh follows the Westminster-type democracy. “Our main goal is the welfare of the people. The Election Commission is totally independent. It will conduct the election,” the PM was quoted as saying.

Regarding the freedom of expression, Hasina said the media enjoys total freedom here. There was only one television channel in the country but her government opened television channels to the private sector. Now there are 24 private TV channels and more TV channels are in the pipeline, she said.

The UK’s Indo Pacific state minister said the next stage of development is very important for Bangladesh on the way of its graduation from the status of a least developed country (LDC).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan said she visited the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and appreciated Bangladesh and Sheikh Hasina for providing shelter to the displaced people.

She also praised the administration for handling the recent fire incident in the Rohingya camp in a nice manner.

In this regard, the PM said a huge number of new babies are born in the displaced Rohingya community every year, intensifying the burden further on Bangladesh.

Noting that the Covid-19 pandemic affected the whole world, she said Bangladesh emphasized on growing more food and took steps accordingly.

PM’s Ambassador-at-Large Mohammad Ziauddin, PMO Secretary Mohammad Salahuddin and UK High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson were present.