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Bangladesh Polls: US envoy Earl R Miller meets BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir

Bangladesh Polls: US envoy Earl R Miller meets BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 04 Jan 2019, 03:48 pm

Dhaka, Jan 4 (IBNS):  US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller on Friday met key opposition party of the country Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)'s secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and discussed the recent general polls of the nation.

They sat in the meeting, starting around 10:05am, at the BNP chairperson's Gulshan office in Dhaka, party sources told The Daily Star.

BNP, which had boycotted the polls in 2014, received a jolt in 2018 elections as the alliance led by it only won 7 seats.

The party contested this time with its leader Khaleda Zia currently lodged in a prison over corruption charges.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League-led alliance stormed to power for the third straight time by winning 288 seats.

This is the fourth term of Hasina as the PM of the Muslim-majority nation.

US reaction to polls:

The United States on Wednesday expressed its concern over reports of violence and irregularities during Bangladesh elections and said it 'undermined faith in the electoral process'.

A statement issued by the US state department said: "In this light, we note with concern credible reports of harassment, intimidation, and violence in the pre-election period that made it difficult for many opposition candidates and their supporters to meet, hold rallies, and campaign freely. We are also concerned that election-day irregularities prevented some people from voting, which undermined faith in the electoral process."

The United States is Bangladesh’s largest foreign investor, largest single-country market for Bangladeshi exports, and home to a large community of Americans of Bangladeshi origin.

"We strongly encourage all parties to refrain from violence and request the Election Commission work constructively with all sides to address claims of irregularities. Bangladesh’s impressive record of economic development and respect for democracy and human rights are mutually reinforcing, and we look forward to continue working with the ruling government and opposition towards advancing these interrelated goals," it said.

Violence and life loss during polls:

Amid reports of sporadic violence, at least 17 people died in the nation on the day of polling.

Bangladesh Polls: US envoy Earl R Miller meets BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir

India Blooms News Service
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