The ruling Awami League leaders and US Ambassador Peter Haas held a meeting at the AL party office which featured the talks on upcoming parliamentary election.
The Awami League delegation and the US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Peter Haas, held a high-profile meeting on Thursday morning at the Awami League’s Bangabandhu Avenue headquarters. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the upcoming 12th National Parliament Election and the crucial role of democracy in Bangladesh.
After the hour-and-a-half-long meeting with Ambassador Haas, Obaidul Quader, general secretary of the Awami League, expressed confidence and assurance. He reaffirmed the party’s commitment to transparent and fair elections and emphasized that Awami League’s decisions are not influenced by foreign entities.
Awami League Presidium Member Muhammad Faruk Khan, International Affairs Secretary Shammi Ahmed, Information and Research Secretary Selim Mahmud, Office Secretary Biplab Barua, and Executive Member Mohammad Ali Arafat were also present during the meeting.
US’s position on free and fair election
The General Secretary of the Awami League stated that the US Ambassador conveyed his views, and they shared theirs. “Their commitment is towards a free and fair election. There is no pressure involved. If there’s any pressure, it is the pressure of conscience,” he added.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Quader stated, “Why should we feel pressure? Conducting free and fair elections is our commitment. There’s no reason to feel pressured here. The government is not influenced by the presence of foreigners.”
“Protecting democracy is our sacred responsibility, and we are actively fulfilling it,” he stated.
He clarified that during the meeting, the US ambassador did not raise any complaints or suggestions regarding the formation of a caretaker government, resignation of the prime minister, dissolution of parliament, or any other major political matters.
Regarding the future election, Quader said, “The forthcoming election, we want peaceful and fair elections. We want uninterrupted and transparent elections. We are saying this to everyone. This is our commitment, a commitment to the people of our country.”
He emphasized that Bangladesh now has an independent Election Commission under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina.
US Ambassador supports democracy in Bangladesh: No position on caretaker government
US Ambassador Peter Haas emphasized that the United States does not endorse any particular political party but is committed to supporting the democratic process. “We believe everyone has a role to play in ensuring that elections are free, fair, and peaceful,” Haas told reporters after the meeting.
Ambassador Haas clarified that the US does not have a position on the issue of a caretaker government, leaving it to political parties to decide their approach. He further reiterated the US’s impartial approach, stating, “We meet with all political parties, and we do not play favorites.”
During the meeting, discussions covered various aspects of the democratic process and the importance of conducting violence-free elections. Ambassador Haas emphasized that each stakeholder, including the government, media, judiciary, political parties, civil society, security forces, and voters, has a critical role in upholding democracy.
“We support a free, fair, and peaceful election with no violence on the part of anyone,” stated Ambassador Haas, highlighting the consistent message delivered in all his meetings.
The US Ambassador has been engaging in courtesy meetings with leaders of various political parties in Bangladesh, as part of the US administration’s emphasize to ensuring transparent and unbiased elections.
As the nation awaits the 12th National Parliament Election, the Awami League stands firm in its commitment to upholding democracy, promoting peace, and conducting transparent and fair elections that will shape the country’s future.