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US envoy tells reports

US wants equal space for peaceful electioneering

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US Ambassador Robert Miller holding talks with media after discussing polls issue with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda at EC office on Tuesday.

Diplomatic Correspondent :US ambassador in Dhaka Earl R Miller on Tuesday said that all parties should have freedom to express their political views, to campaign and to hold peaceful rallies and meetings for the December 30 National Election."All should be free to participate in the polls and political process", Earl R Miller told reporters after a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda at Nirbachan Bhaban on Tuesday."There should prevail peace and quality, but not violence as it (violence) hinders the democratic process. It only serves their interest who represent vested group," he said.Miller said, US does not support any party or candidate, but it supports democracy and democratic values."I encourage everyone to participate in the election  process and dedicate for the welfare of Bangladeshi people. Popular democracy flourishes from frequent and lively debate. Freedom of expression is vital for healthy democracy," he said.
"Civil society political parties members should express their view and advocate for policy change," he said.
He said US encourages free, fair and credible election in Bangladesh.
US embassy will deploy separate election observation teams across Bangladesh. In cooperation with UK and Switzerland, US is funding 15000 local election observers working under Election Working Group, a consortium of civil societies' organisations.
Miller said US will support election observation teams adding that US funded National Democratic Institute sent five members pre assessment team to Bangladesh in October followed by second pre-assessment mission in December.
NDI sub grant partner the Asian Network for Free Election has dedicated two international electoral analysts to cover the election. They will be sending international long and short term observers.

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