EU Delegation Meets with Civil Society Members

File Photo

File Photo

The exploratory mission of the EU was informed by a representative of Bangladesh's civil society as it started its discussions with the group today that the country's political climate is currently calm and devoid of violence.

On Sunday, July 16, between 9 and 10 a.m., the EU team met for the first time with Dr. Mahfuz Kabir, Research Director of the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS).

"The mission inquired about the current election atmosphere. I told them that now the political situation is peaceful and violence free. The EU should send an observer team before the election," Dr Kabir told journalists following the meeting.

"They also inquired about sending an observer team to the Chittagong Hill Tract area. I said that they could send a small CHT team considering the region's overall situation," he added.

Following the meeting with the BIISS research director, the EU delegation sat for a meeting with Advocate Adilur Rahman Khan, a human rights activist.

"Fair elections are not possible by filing cases against human rights activists, cancelling the registration of human rights organisations and violating human rights. This is what I told the delegation," he told The Business Standard. 

EU's six-member Election Exploratory Mission arrived in Dhaka to on 9 July survey the atmosphere ahead of the next national election.

The delegation, which will be visiting Bangladesh till 23 July, includes Dimitra Ioannou, Alves Chritina Dos Ramos, Miller Ian James, Chamagne Christopher and Marie-Helene Enderlin.

The main objective of the visiting mission is to assess the "advisability, usefulness and feasibility" of a possible EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the upcoming parliamentary elections, according to the EU Mission in Dhaka.

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