East is supportive, UN and West are critical
The International community appears to be divided over the 11th parliamentary election held on Sunday.
Even though the United Nations (UN) and the West have welcomed the participation of all the parties, they have been critical of the way the polls were handled. The East however has endorsed the outcome of the elections, marred by allegations of irregularities and violence by the opposition.
On Tuesday, the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom issued strongly-worded statements expressing their disappointments at the reported irregularities and calling for them to be addressed immediately through a transparent process.
Neighbouring countries and other Asian countries including India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Russia welcomed the outcome of the elections.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first global leader to call Sheikh Hasina to congratulate her on her party’s success on Monday morning – the day after the polls.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called her Bangladeshi counterpart Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Tuesday to congratulate him on his victory in the elections, according to a press release issued by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in a message congratulated Sheikh Hasina on her election victory on Wednesday.
UK Foreign and Commonwealth Minister Asia, Mark Field, however, joined the EU and the US calling for “a full, credible and transparent resolution of all complaints related to the conduct of the election”.
“While I welcome the participation of all opposition parties in these elections, I am aware of credible accounts of obstacles, including arrests, that constrained or prevented campaigning by opposition parties, and of irregularities in the conduct of elections on polling day that prevented some people from voting,” he said in a statement.
Earlier on Monday, the United Nations said that it was aware of violent incidents and reports of irregularities in the Bangladesh general election and urged all political parties to exercise restraint.
Meanwhile, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo and US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl R Miller separately met with Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque at the latter’s office on Wednesday.
None of them spoke to reporters after their meetings and despite repeated attempts, Foreign Secretary Haque could not be reached for his comments about the meetings.
But, multiple sources told the Dhaka Tribune that election on Sunday was discussed in both the meetings.
“The US Ambassador came to reiterate the US position on the election,” said a senior official of the Foreign Ministry.