32 US observers to monitor polls
Staff Correspondent: Newly appointed US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Robert Miller yesterday hoped that the next general election in Bangladesh will be credible and peaceful.
“We hope the next election will be free, fair, credible and peaceful,” he said when he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban.
PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
During the meeting, Ihsanul Karim said, the 11th general election of Bangladesh came up for discussions.
The US envoy said there will be 32 US election observers in the country as the US Embassy will arrange a total of 11 teams in this regard.
About the Rohingya issue, Miller said there should be an environment in Myanmar so that the Rohingyas could return to their homeland there. “The USA will continue its support to Bangladesh on Rohingya issue,” he reaffirmed.
Terming the Bangladesh-USA relations strong ones, he also mentioned that the USA wants to cooperate with Bangladesh in energy and education sectors.
While describing the struggle of Bangladesh in establishing democracy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the then Awami League government had handed over power peacefully in 2001, a rare example in Bangladesh’s history.
Before the 2014 election, she said, the government had offered the opposition some ministries in the polls-time cabinet, but they, in return, went for violence, arson attacks and killing people.
During the current election campaign, Hasina said, two of her party men already died in violence. “I’ve asked my party men to have patience.”
The Prime Minister sought cooperation of the he US Ambassador in resuming the Dhaka-New York flight.
About the education sector, she said the government has ensured the distribution of free textbooks among the students up to secondary level.
Hasina said if her party is voted to power in the coming election, the government will raise the GDP rate to 8 percent in the next fiscal.