February 10, 2017 - 10:49am
Marcia Bernicat, US ambassador to Bangladesh, expressed hopes that the newly appointed Election Commission (EC) would be beneficial for the country's political future.
She said: “It is expected that the newly appointed EC will ensure a level playing field so that all of the political parties can participate in the elections. This might be possible if the Election Commission can gain the confidence of mass people.”
Bernicat made the statement while talking to reporters at the Bangladesh Secretariat on Thursday, after a meeting with Awami League general secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
“Bangladesh is a democratic country and EC reformation is a constitutional process. An independent EC is most important for arranging a free and fair election. Bangladesh has passed a painful situation during the last national election in January.
“Now it is very important to follow the performance of the new EC and observe how capable they are in gaining the trust of the people,” she added.
When questioned about the relocation of Rohingya refugees to Noakhali from Tekhnaf and Cox’s Bazar, she said: “We have already visited the area and we have many questions about this relocation, and I would like to know the answers.”
“The first thing to consider is if the Rohingyas are interested in relocating to the other side of the country. They have already faced immense mental and physical trauma while at Myanmar as well as on their journey to Bangladesh. And if this is a forced relocation, does it not further violate their rights?”