Sunday, January 20, 2019 | ePaper

EU team for Independent EC: Free and fair polls a must

  • Print


BNP's senior leaders holding meeting with European Parliamentary delegation over the imprisonment of its Chairperson Khaleda Zia, next election issue and the present political situation in Bangladesh at Gulshan Party office on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter :
European Parliamentary delegations on Wednesday said, an independent election commission is very important for a free and fair parliamentary election.
Visiting eight-member EU Parliamentary body headed by Jean Lambert met Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda.
The delegation urged Bangladesh authorities to create the necessary conditions for inclusive, free and fair elections.
"We hope all parties will actually be willing to stand for election to make sure that people of Bangladesh can exercise their choice through the ballot-box," Jean Lambert told reporters at a press conference before wrapping up their Bangladesh visit.
She said that they had a meeting at the Election Commission and discussed how the next national election could be inclusive, free and fair.
Lambert said they also discussed issues related to budget, capacity building and next election management.
MEPs met the State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda and Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose ahead of the general elections.
The European delegation met the BNP leadership also.
The MEPs recalled that up to EUR 690 million were earmarked in EU support for Bangladesh in the current Multiannual Indicative Programme 2014-2020 and reiterated their wish to remain engaged and to further support Bangladesh in areas such as human rights, good governance and the environment.
They also hoped that the impressive economic growth of the past years and the encouraging progress in the fight against poverty, which have made Bangladesh an important trading partner of the European Union, will further help achieve the goals to which it has committed, in a more inclusive manner.
The European Parliamentarians regretted, however, the deterioration of the human rights situation over the past few years, and took note of reports on hindrance to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and violence against women.
They also welcomed progress related to the Sustainability Compact, but recalled that a number of relevant issues in that context remained pending, notably in the area of labour rights.
The MEPs recalled the need to fully align the Labour Act and the EPZ Labour Act with ILO standards, in particular Conventions No. 87 and 98 on freedom of association and collective bargaining.
They noted, furthermore, that the likely graduation to middle income country status will require a transitional process to implement and monitor the required ILO Conventions.
The delegation of the European Parliament paid an official visit to Bangladesh from February 12 to 14.
Richard Corbett, James Nicholson, Wajid Khan and Sajjad Kari, in his capacity as rapporteur on South Asia in the European Parliament's International Trade Committee, were among delegation members.
The visit of European Parliamentarians (MEPs) was organized in two parts.
On Monday, MEPs visited Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar and gathered first-hand information on the ongoing exodus and refugee crisis.
This part of the visit was organized together with a Delegation of the European Parliament's Sub-committee on Human Rights, led by its Chairman Pier Antonio Panzeri, who travelled onwards to Myanmar.
During the second part of the visit, MEPs returned to the capital Dhaka for meetings with the Bangladesh authorities, mainly with its counterparts in the Jatiya Sanghad, the Bangladesh Parliament, and with representatives of civil society.
They appreciated the opportunity to inform themselves on developments in Bangladesh at an important juncture in bilaterauhl relations with the European Union, including the Bangladesh Sustainability Compact that aims at improving the working conditions in the ready-made garment industry, launched after the Rana Plaza tragedy.

More News For this Category

 People spontaneously gave mandate for AL, says PM

People spontaneously gave mandate for AL, says PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the people of the country spontaneously gave their verdict in favour of Awami League's manifesto in the December-30 election to free the country

Counselling of students planned

M M Jasim :The Education Ministry has taken a plan to make the counselling among the students in all the educational institutions every day to eliminate trend of committing suicide.The

Indian opposition stages giant jt rally to oust Modi

Kolkata, India (Reuters) :India's main opposition parties joined forces against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday at a rally which attracted hundreds of thousands of people months ahead of elections.The

Yet another mother gang-raped in Noakhali

Staff Reporter : Mother of three children was  gang-raped by three persons at gun point in her house at Nabogram village in Dhansiri union of Kabirhat upazila in Noakhali district  on

BNP unlikely to join UZ elections

Still reeling from the shock of its massive defeat in the 11th parliamentary election, BNP is unlikely to join the upcoming upazila elections as most of its senior and grassroots

Sensitive borders come under smart digital surveillance

Kazi Zahidul Hasan :The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought budgetary supports of Tk 360 crore to install 'smart digital border surveillance and technical response system' on borders designated as

Total lunar eclipse meets supermoon tonight

Total lunar eclipse meets supermoon tonight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP)  :Here comes a total lunar eclipse and supermoon, all wrapped into one.The moon, Earth and sun will line up this weekend for the only total lunar

15 Film and TV stars buy AL forms for reserved seats

Staff Reporter :At least 15 film and TV stars bought Awami League nomination forms for the reserved seats of the 11th National Parliament. A total of 1510 female MP aspirants

18 more killed

Staff Reporter : Roads have become deaths trap again; no law or rule appears effective on the road and high-way.At least 18 more persons were killed and several others critically

AL celebrates victory to hide moral defeat: Fakhrul

Staff Reporter :Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Saturday accused the ruling AL of celebrating its victory in the December 30 election in order to divert people's attention from "vote rigging"."They