In accordance with Bangladeshi laws, the Election Commission has successfully completed all the necessary processes to announce the election schedule promptly. The Election Commission has taken comprehensive initiatives to ensure that the elections are conducted freely, fairly, impartially, and with active participation.
On November 4, when the Election Commission extended invitations to registered political parties for a dialogue, 26 political parties, including the Awami League and Jatiya Party, actively participated. In contrast, BNP-Jamaat and some allied political parties have displayed a disregard for democracy and electoral rules by abstaining from the dialogue process.
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In accordance with the Bangladesh constitution, there is a mandate to conduct elections by January 29, 2024. However, on the verge of the election schedule announcement, a country’s ambassador breached diplomatic norms by distributing a letter, purportedly on behalf of the assistant foreign minister of that nation, urging three political parties in Bangladesh to engage in unconditional dialogue. This information was reported by the national media.
It’s noteworthy that BNP-Jamaat rejected the call for unconditional dialogue, appending a unilateral condition related to the government’s resignation. The ambassador’s letter revived the age-old threat of implementing a ‘visa policy’ for those impeding Bangladesh’s democratic processes.
In this regard, the collective statement from over eight hundred teachers at Dhaka University expresses profound concern regarding the unwarranted interference of the international community in Bangladesh’s 12th National Parliament election. The statement, signed by Sitesh Chandra Bacha, the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, conveys that preparations for the upcoming January 2024 Bangladesh Elections are currently underway.
Recalling the historical event, the statement said, the former US government supported Pakistan during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War by providing arms for the genocide. This alignment persists in their current policy of offering logistical support to anti-liberation forces. Despite BNP-Jamaat lacking public support in the one-phase movement to overthrow the government, they persist in attempting to sustain violence under the guise of a movement, fueled by the biased conduct of the ambassador from that particular country.
The self-proclaimed advocate of human rights and democracy has instigated a reign of terror, engaging in activities such as torching vehicles, vandalizing industries, murdering both law enforcement officers and innocent civilians, attacking the Chief Justice’s residence, and resorting to intimidation under the guise of hartal-blockade programs. Furthermore, this entity has failed to implement its visa policy against those hindering the electoral process. Despite its rhetoric on human rights, this state has openly sided with Israel in the brutalization of Palestinian women and children, disregarding global opinion. They have also played a role in pushing countries like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and others to the brink of destruction, all in the name of democracy. Presently, they are contributing logistical support to anti-liberation forces, attempting to derail the progress of economically advanced Bangladesh, hailed as a development model for third-world nations.
I strongly protest the press briefing titled ‘Bangladesh Political Protest’ released by the United Nations High Commission on October 31, 2023, based on misleading information, and I demand the retraction of this statement. We believe that such actions will embolden those seeking to disrupt elections through acts of violence, killings, and vandalism.
Expressing deep concern about the inefficiency of engaging in dialogue with violent political parties and radical religious sects, which only wastes time and creates a constitutional vacuum, I call upon everyone to support the efforts of the Election Commission and the Government of Bangladesh. Let us work together to ensure a free, fair, and acceptable election that reflects the public’s desire, while respecting the sovereignty of the independent state.