AFD International is following with deep concern the violence that accompanied the recent legislative elections in Bangladesh, which resulted in the deaths of more than 15 people and amid accusations by the Bengali opposition of possible violations and falsification accompanied the general elections by the ruling party.
Ahead of this election, the governing party led by the current president Sheikh Hasina ran a campaign based on fear and intimidation by arresting and harassing candidates from the opposition parties.
Under Mrs. Hasina’s leadership the government has increasingly become intolerant to dissent voices and criticism, often arresting people who criticise the government on social media without warrants.
The Bangladesh National Party (BNP), the main opposition party has described this elections as “farcical” and rejects the result, a fact which will polarise the country further and sink it into sharp division and conflict that will have major consequences on civil and political rights of the Bangladeshi people.
These latest disruptions has cast a shadow of doubt on the credibility of the election system in Bangladesh and its potential to stabilise the very fragile and fragmented social and political cohesion.
AFD International is calling on all parties to exercise restraint and calm and respect the democratic will of the Bangladeshi people. We also, urge all the parties to allow the Election Commission to look into the allegations with integrity and impartiality and pronounce its final verdict without any interference.
Finally, AFD International condemns the use of violence by all parties that marred this election and reminds that political and civil rights are as important as economic and social rights for the progress of a nation.
Asia & the Pacific Department