Voicing its displeasure over low turnout of voters in Sunday’s elections, the United Kingdom has urged the new government and all political parties in Bangladesh to act in line with the interests of the people of Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh is an important partner for the UK and we continue to support its people in their aspirations for a more stable, prosperous, and democratic future,” said Baroness Warsi, British Senior Foreign Office Minister, commenting on the results of the 10th parliamentary elections on Monday.
The British Minister, who visited Dhaka twice before the January 5 elections, however, expressed her displeasure as voters in more than half the constituencies did not have the opportunity to express their will at the ballot box.
“…it’s therefore disappointing that voters in more than half the constituencies didn’t have the opportunity to express their will at the ballot box and that turnout in most other constituencies was low,” Warsi said.
Like others in the International Community, the British Minister mentioned, the UK believes the true mark of a mature, functioning democracy is peaceful, credible elections that express the genuine will of the voters.
“All Bangladesh's political parties share a clear and unequivocal responsibility to work together to strengthen democratic accountability as an urgent priority and to build the willingness and capacity to hold future participatory elections without the fear of intimidation or reprisals,” she said.
Warsi said the UK has noted the announcement of the results of the 10th parliamentary elections in Bangladesh; ‘an election called in accordance with Bangladesh’s Constitution.’
She said the UK is deeply concerned at the deaths of so many people, political harassment and the heightened political tensions which underlie them.
“We deplore the acts of intimidation and unlawful violence from all parties that have taken place in recent weeks and the arson attacks on public buildings, including schools and colleges, which have been reported over the weekend,” she mentioned.
Awami League won absolute majority in Sunday’s national election that was marked by massive violence and low turnout amid boycott by the opposition alliance.
So far, 24 people were killed in last two days - 19 on Sunday and five on Monday - over the national election.
UK unhappy over low voter turnout