The visiting European parliamentary delegation today said the Bangladesh government is capable of holding the next general election in a free and fair way.
“What I have heard talking to political leaders of the country, I am confident that the coming election (in Bangladesh) will be free and fair,” Rupert Matthews, Conservative Member of the European Parliament, said at a press briefing at a city hotel this afternoon.
He said the EU parliament is not sending any observer for the upcoming election as the European Parliament believes that Bangladesh is well prepared to handle it on its own.
Matthews ruled out some speculation that the EU is not sending observer as it didn’t allocate budget for that. “If European parliament wanted to send observers, they would allocate the budget to do so,” he added.
He said the EU parliament believes that Bangladesh is capable to follow its own rules to conduct a free and fair election and “therefore we don’t need to send observer.”
Referring to the officials of the European Parliament and European Union, who have experience in observing polls around the globe, Matthews said as per their (EU officials) opinion, Bangladesh runs a free and fair system regarding the polls.
He said his team has talked to a wide range of people of Bangladesh including government officials and politicians and common people and they have finally come to this conclusion.
“We are here to observe the situation of Bangladesh in different sectors including elections, trade, investment, social, women empowerment and minorities,” he said.
Joao Pedro Guimaraes Goncalves, member of the Portuguese Parliament, said his country and Bangladesh are democratic countries but they have some wrong ideas about Bangladesh.
“This visit has removed the wrong ideas about Bangladesh. We have found that the country is really amazing,” he said.
He laid emphasis on taking initiatives to show the world ‘real Bangladesh’ as it’s a good example of industry. “Bangladesh is such a wonderful country that really respects human rights, and workers and its industries are up to mark of the global standard, he said.
The delegation also included Fluvio Martusciello, member of the EU parliament from Italy, Alberto Cirio, member of the EU parliament from Italy, Sandra Cristina De Sequeiros Pereira, Member of the Portuguese Parliament, and Madi Sharma, member of the European Economic and Social Committee UK.
They said Bangladesh became a role model for its neighboring countries in the field of socio-economic development.
Bangladesh has really taught the world how a most populous country can move ahead in a short period being stick to democratic values, they added.