United Nation calls for peaceful elections in Bangladesh

Updated: Dec 29, 2018, 08:06 IST | Agencies

It will be the 11th election held in the country. UN Secretary General Guterres has reiterated the continued commitment of the United Nations for a peaceful and democratic Bangladesh

United Nation calls for peaceful elections in Bangladesh
The nation has intensified security across regions ahead of polls

UN chief Antonio Guterres has asked all stakeholders in Bangladesh to ensure that the upcoming general elections are held in an environment free of violence and intimidation, amid reports of arrests and targeted attacks carried out by the ruling party activists.

General elections will be held in Bangladesh on December 30. It will be the 11th election held in the country. UN Secretary General Guterres has reiterated the continued commitment of the United Nations for a peaceful and democratic Bangladesh.

"All Bangladeshi citizens, including minorities and women, must feel safe and confident in exercising their right to vote. Civil society and electoral observers should be fully supported to play their role in the process," a statement issued by the Secretary General's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

He "calls on all stakeholders to ensure an environment free of violence, intimidation and coercion before, during and after the elections, so as to enable a peaceful, credible and inclusive poll," it said.

Last week, Dujarric said the UN was concerned by incidents of electoral violence. "We are all following these developments very closely and we're concerned by the reports of electoral violence and arrests of opposition members and we call on all stakeholders to do their part to make sure that the election is inclusive and transparent," Dujarric had said Friday.

At least six people have been killed and several injured in election-related violence since December 10 when the campaigning began, with the opposition and ruling parties blaming each other.

Security beefed up
Campaigning ended on Friday for the general election as army troops patrolled the streets along with paramilitary forces and police with intensified nationwide security 48 hours before voting. "I expect the law enforcement agencies to ensure security so the people cast vote freely and return home safely," CEC Nurul Huda said.

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