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‘Participatory elections’ in Bangladesh are off the table for US comment, a State Department source says

According to a senior visiting State Department official, the United States is not worried about any specific party participating in Bangladesh’s upcoming elections, but it does want the vote to be fair and conducted in a welcoming atmosphere.

“We are not making a comment on whether or not elections are participatory, more so we are focused on the electoral environment (in Bangladesh),” US deputy assistant secretary Afreen Akhter said to BSS diplomatic reporter Tanzim Anwar on Saturday in the capital.

The decision to engage in the elections, she said, “lies ultimately with the (political) parties themselves,” and she emphasized that “again, we are not commenting on whether it (requires to be) participatory.” Despite “working to support the electoral environment here,” the top US envoy claimed her nation was “not interfering or weighing in with any particular party or candidate.”

Akhter said when asked whether the BNP or any other specific party’s involvement in the election will worry Washington.

Let me be clear that the United States does not endorse any political party, candidate, or person, Akhter said, adding that “we are not seeking to mediate in your (Bangladesh) election either.”

Akhter presently works for Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives in the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA).

According to the US official, since the US is a democracy, it promotes democracies across the world because it thinks that democracies are the greatest form of governance, and because of this belief, her nation supports civil societies and democratic institutions all over the world.

We want to make sure that civil society and the political opposition have the freedom to express themselves, and we also want to make sure that democratic institutions that support free and fair elections are in place, she added. US election monitor
Although the source from the US State Department could not confirm the precise itinerary of the mission, Washington has agreed to deploy a pre-election observation team to Bangladesh in the coming months.

As Bangladeshi Prime Minister Hasina welcomed election monitors Afreen Akhter, the United States announced that it will be assisting a pre-election observation mission there in the next months.
Since Prime Minister Hasina invited election monitors, the US would fund a pre-election observation mission (in Bangladesh) in the next months, Akhter added.

We just heard the same message from the foreign ministers of Bangladesh and the United States. She spoke.

The US official said that after reviewing the report from the US pre-election observer mission, Washington will determine whether or not to deploy an observation team to Bangladesh for the forthcoming election.

Following a private meeting with his American colleague Antony J. Blinken in Washington last month, Bangladesh’s foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said that his country welcomed US monitors.

At the sixth Indian Ocean Conference (IOC), which Dhaka hosted from May 12 to 13, Akhter served as the head of the US delegation.

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