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17 September, 2018 01:05:50 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 September, 2018 08:05:31 AM

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Free, fair, inclusive election important for Bangladesh: Bernicat

All want peace; if peace wins, Bangladesh wins: UK
Independent Online Desk
Free, fair, inclusive election important for Bangladesh: Bernicat

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat on Monday said a free, fair and inclusive election is important for a democracy, especially for the one which is on track to become a middle-income country.

"Together, we can contribute to a peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh," she said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of a campaign launched at the Celebrity Hall of Bangabandhu International Convention Centre (BICC) with a slogan 'Bangladesh will win if peace wins.'

Prime Minister's Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, BNP standing committee member Dr Moyeen Khan, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake and Chief of Party for DI in Bangladesh Katie Croake, among others, spoke at the programme, UNB reports.

The US Ambassador said political parties must accept their rivals as legitimate participations in the political process and as potential leaders of the next government, even when they disagree on issues or policies.

"It's essential that Bangladeshis urge nonviolence by all actors at every stage of the democratic process, before, during, and after the elections," Bernicat said.

She said violence serves only those who wish to undermine the democratic processes and the interest of Bangladesh and its citizens.

British High Commissioner Blake said now is the time for all political leaders who say no to violence to come together to support this campaign to win with peace. "All of us want peace.

If peace wins, the world wins; if peace wins, Bangladesh wins."

She said the people of Bangladesh believe that peaceful elections and politics will lead to a brighter future for everyone in Bangladesh. "We have all come together here today because we share that hope."

Blake said the UK strongly reaffirms commitment to supporting democracy globally, working with all their partners.

She said she is delighted to be able to join such a wonderful event, bringing together people from across the political spectrum and the country to pledge support for inclusive politics and to help deliver Bangladeshis' vision for free, fair, participatory elections in Bangladesh.

The High Commissioner said there is no mistaking the clear message that they hear from everyone across the country that the people of Bangladesh want a peaceful political environment and tolerant political practices.

"Violence and disorder should not be part of politics or elections; and that the victims of violence or disorder are not just the politically active or groups of opposing muscle but that it affects the rights and lives of the innocent bystanders, including minorities, women, and marginalised communities," she said.

Democracy International brought together 400 Awami League and BNP leaders to inaugurate `Shantite Bijoy' Campaign', a national campaign ahead of the next national election, seeking peace centering the polls.

This campaign engages and raises awareness among registered political parties of Bangladesh and candidates in the upcoming national elections in favour of peaceful elections and tolerant politics.

The programme began with singing the national anthem. A documentary was also screened on the occasion.

Speakers expressed the hope for peaceful and participatory polls.

KK/SI

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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