UN election mission to Bangladesh ‘deeply troubled’ by level of violence ahead of polls

28 June 2006

Calling for dialogue among key political parties in Bangladesh, a United Nations electoral assistance mission said today it was “deeply troubled” by the high level of political violence in the country as it prepares for polls scheduled for next January.

During its 10-day visit, which ended yesterday, the mission from the Electoral Assistance Division of the UN Department for Political Affairs put forward several recommendations to assist with that vote, a UN spokesman told reporters in New York.

“It recommended that several key steps be taken in the days ahead, including creating a level playing field for all candidates and ensuring that the voter list is accurate and inclusive,” the spokesman said.

The Mission found that the country’s election system included “unique safeguards and protections” and the electoral administration had repeatedly shown the capability to organize the vote effectively.

The other recommendations made by the Mission involved the need to ensure public confidence in the Bangladesh Election Commission and all authorities responsible for the elections and the need to help civil society organizations and media to conduct election-related activities freely, safely and without interference.

Members of the Mission met with the Bangladesh Election Commission and its Secretariat, national and local Government officials, political parties, civil society groups, media representatives and others, according to the UN system in Bangladesh.

 

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