Need free, fair elections in Bangladesh: USAID | Daily Star
11:57 AM, May 17, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:03 PM, May 17, 2018

Need free, fair polls in Bangladesh: USAID

The US expects that Bangladesh will hold a free, fair, credible and participatory elections that reflect the will of the Bangladeshi people.

Visiting USAID Administrator Mark A Green conveyed the message and also discussed human rights situation in Bangladesh, while also shedding light on the ongoing Rohingya crisis in talks with select journalists at American Club this morning.

Read More: Crisis Group on Rohingyas: Rakhine situation still not favourable for safe return

While speaking, before leaving Dhaka after a four-day official visit, he emphasised that any repatriation or relocation of the Rohingya community must be safe, voluntary and dignified.

The USAID administrator will be leaving for Myanmar, where he will raise the urgent need to take steps to end the Rohingya crisis. Meanwhile, he also announced a fresh US $44 million aide for the Rohingya and other vulnerable population in Bangladesh.

“The US will continue to work with Bangladesh to resolve this issue,” he said.

Speaking on the rights issue, he highlighted the importance of preserving the rights of free speech and assembly as well as a free and independent press, before, during, and after the upcoming national voting later this year.

In reply to a question on BNP chief Khaleda Zia, who is now in jail and under a judicial process, he said “US government expects fair and systematic process will be followed”.

He voiced concerns over the "ongoing arrest" of opposition leaders, extrajudicial harassment and detention of journalists. “That concerns every true friend of Bangladesh, including US”.

"Bangladesh and the United States are indeed friends. This friendship is based on shared values and willingness to talk to each other openly and honestly," he said, adding that “experience shows responsive democratic governance is compulsory for long-term sustainability and successful economic development”.

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