Undamaged support to continue: Mozena: UN wants quick talks for credible polls

Reiterating US’ position on the January 5 polls, US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena on Sunday said his country’s commitment to work with Bangladesh and its people remains ‘undamaged’.
“As US Ambassador here, I’ll do everything I can do to support Bangladesh to move forward,” he said mentioning that his vision is to see Bangladesh as the next Asian Tiger.
The US diplomat came up with the remark while talking to reporters emerging from the Bangabhaban ceremony.
Expressing US’ disappointment on the results of parliamentary elections, he called on the all ruling party, BNP and other political parties to ‘immediately’ engage in dialogue for holding credible elections as ‘soon as possible’.
“So, our perspective is that we’re not very convinced that the results are credible reflections of the wills of the people of Bangladesh. So, we look forward to elections,” said the US diplomat.
Mozena said it was disappointing because more than half of the seats went uncontested and others have only token opposition. “I think the US has already spoken very clearly about the elections process,” the US envoy added.
On January 7, the US Department of State issued a statement expressing displeasure over Bangladesh elections and encouraged the government and opposition parties to engage in ‘immediate dialogue’ to find a way to hold fresh elections as soon as possible that are free, fair, peaceful, and credible.
“The United States is disappointed by the recent Parliamentary elections in Bangladesh. With more than half of the seats uncontested and most of the remainder offering only token opposition, the results of the just-concluded elections do not appear to credibly express the will of the Bangladeshi people,” said Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson of the US Department of State.
She said Bangladesh’s political leadership – and those who aspire to lead – must do everything in their power to ensure law and order and refrain from supporting and fomenting violence, especially against minority communities, inflammatory rhetoric, and intimidation.
“In the coming days, as Bangladesh seeks a way forward that is in keeping with its strong democratic traditions, we call upon the government of Bangladesh to provide political space to all citizens to freely express their political views,” Harf said. The US also called strongly on the opposition to use such space peacefully and responsibly, and for all sides to eschew violence.

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