Home / Bangladesh / No scope to hold ‘acceptable polls’ under AL govt: BNP tells Canadian envoy

No scope to hold ‘acceptable polls’ under AL govt: BNP tells Canadian envoy

BNP today told Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Dr Lilly Nicholls that there is no scope to hold an “acceptable election” under the current Awami League government.

The party conveyed the message as the Canadian envoy met its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
“We told them there’s no scope to hold a neutral, acceptable, and credible election in Bangladesh under the current regime,” BNP standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury told reporters after the meeting.

He said they also informed the Canadian High Commissioner about the current situation in Bangladesh where there is “no democracy, level-playing field, freedom of expression and press freedom.”

The BNP leader said Canada has been observing Bangladesh intensively like the US and other democratic countries.

“They have huge interests in human rights, the rule of law, and voting rights, and their moral ground is high,” Khosru said.

He said Canada has “concerns” over Bangladesh’s election, human rights, and the rule of law and the election. “Like other western democratic countries, Canada has huge concerns over whether the next election here will be fair, acceptable and inclusive or not.”

The BNP leader also said Canada is also “worried whether the people of Bangladesh will be able to elect their parliament and the government by exercising their right to franchise.”

“We had long discussions over these issues. They wanted to know the necessary measures to hold the next election in a free and fair manner. They also wanted to know the latest political situation,” he said.

The meeting that started at the BNP Chairperson’s political office in Gulshan around 1pm lasted for over an hour.

Apart from Amir Khosru, BNP organising secretary Shama Obaed and Canadian High Commission official Bradley Coates also attended the meeting.

In a press release, the Canadian High Commission said Dr Lilly Nicholls and BNP leaders discussed the “importance of free, fair, and participatory elections in Bangladesh” among a range of issues.

The High Commissioner said elections are about giving citizens a choice in who runs their government. “Making a choice requires options; we hope that the upcoming election includes a wide range of voices, debate and dialogue. That way, the people of Bangladesh can choose their own future.”