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EU polls mission holds meeting with FM Momen, BNP leaders

A delegation of the European Union Election Expert Mission to Bangladesh 2023 held meetings with Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and the BNP leaders in Sylhet on Wednesday evening.

The meeting between Momen and the mission was held at the latter’s residence at Dhopadighirpara in Sylhet city around 6pm.

Legal and human rights expert Rebecca Cox and media and social media expert Charlotte Souibes took part in the meeting.

After the meeting, Momen talked to reporters at his residence. He said the members of the EU mission asked various questions about the election but they did not express any opinion.

Stating that there will be no fake votes in Bangladesh, he told the mission that the Election Commission is working to make the election fair and neutral in the country.

The EC will hold elections from which the world can learn. In Sylhet, all the candidates are campaigning in their own way following the election rules, and no one is obstructing anyone, he said.

About the arrests of the BNP leaders and activists, the foreign minister said none of the BNP leaders and activists were arrested as the law enforcers arrested those who were involved in terrorist activities.

The minister also said that the incumbent EC is very strong. Voting will be transparent and everyone will go to polling stations to vote without any hindrance.

“Bangladesh is an independent country… Foreigners want to sell a lot of things to Bangladesh, but the government buys what the people need, and it does not unless it is needed. That is why some countries are dissatisfied and complaining,” he said.

Earlier, the visiting EU mission held a meeting with the BNP at a local hotel in Sylhet in the afternoon.

BNP chairperson’s advisers Khandaker Abdul Muktadir, Ariful Haque Chowdhury and Sylhet district BNP president Qayyum Chowdhury attended the meeting.

They did not brief the media about the meeting.

However, a source in the BNP said that in the meeting, they highlighted the current situation of the country and the government’s brutal repression on the opposition parties.