European Parliament urges BD political parties not to boycott polls


Dhaka, November 22, 2013

The European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution on Thursday, calling on all parties not to boycott the elections, as this would deprive citizens of a political choice and undermine Bangladesh’s social and economic stability and its impressive development progress.

According to a press release of the European Parliament, its members during the plenary sessions on Thursday adopted the resolution urging “all groups and individuals” to exercise tolerance and restraint, especially in the lead-up to, during, and after the elections. The release said that the resolution further called upon the Bangladesh’s Election Commission to organise and oversee the next general elections in a “fully transparent manner”. The European Parliament said the political parties should refrain from any violence during the electoral process,” the release said.
The EP expressed its serious concern over the continuing paralysis of everyday life in Bangladesh as a result of general strikes organised by the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami opposition. The European Parliament calls on all groups and individuals to exercise tolerance and restraint, especially in the lead-up to, during, and after the elections,” said the 15-point joint motion for resolution on ‘Bangladesh: Human Rights and Forthcoming Elections’.
It called on the Bangladesh Election Commission to organise and oversee the next general election in a fully transparent manner; supports the recognition of new political parties that intend to participate in the next general election and meet reasonable criteria for political participation and representation.
The European Parliament recognised Bangladesh’s reputation as a tolerant and multi-confessional society, and condemned groups and factions trying to stir up inter-community tensions for their own ends. It also acknowledged the need for reconciliation, justice and accountability for the crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence; stresses and supports the important role of the International Crimes Tribunal in this respect.
It welcomed the joint initiative by the government of Bangladesh and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in collaboration with government, employers’ and workers’ representatives, on ‘Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector’; urged European and other international clothing brands to fulfill the promises and pledges made in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, including under the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
The Parliament instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the UN Human Rights Council and the Government and Parliament of Bangladesh.

Source: Online news agencies.

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