Observers find election free, fair, disciplined

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Staff Reporter:

A group of foreign and local observers has termed the just-held national election free, fair and disciplined one as voters have been able to cast their votes without any fear and in a very festive mood.

At a press conference here on Monday, the observers appreciated the role of the Bangladesh Election Commission for holding a peaceful election.

They, however, said they are saddened at the loss of lives outside Dhaka mentioning that they feel assured that the EC will investigate the incidents.

SAARC Human Rights Foundation and the Election Monitoring Forum jointly organised the press briefing at the Jatiya Press Club to share their experiences after observing Sunday’s polls.

The Election Monitoring Forum is an association of 31 organisations and 26 NGOs registered under the Election Commission.

“Considering all the aspects, we can say the 11th parliamentary election in Bangladesh was free and fair,” Executive Director of Election Monitoring Forum and Secretary General of Saarc Human Rights Foundation Prof M Abed Ali told reporters.

Canadian observer Tania Foster said what she saw was “very peaceful and very well-organized” and the presence of security personnel on the ground was enough to ensure the security for voters.

She found kind of similarity with the election they have in Canada like people lining up with valid identity and presence of observes.

“The Election Commission has done a very good job,” Foster said adding that the EC ensured fair and democratic process for the citizens of Bangladesh.

Special representative of Sri Lanka’s Saarc Human Rights Foundation Mohammed Ehsan Iqbal said he can confirm that Sunday’s election was the most peaceful election held in Bangladesh. “I wish all the best for the Bangladeshi people and future as well.”

Former president of Kolkata Press Club Kamal Bhattacharya, Dr Gautom Ghosh, Chally Foster, former Nepalese minister Hakikullah Muslim and MP Nazir Mia, Nepalese lawyer Mohammadin Ali, Saarc Human Rights Foundation director Masum Chowdhury were present.

They said vote casting went smoothly in the city with much enthusiasm among voters.

Awami League secured third consecutive win in the election with absolute majority.unb

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