EU to keep eyes on Bangladesh polls, not sending observers

Though it will not send any observer team because of a lengthy preparatory process, the European Union (EU) will closely monitor the next national election in Bangladesh.

The EU will be keeping eyes on the developments in the coming weeks, a diplomatic source said, adding that not sending an observer team does not mean that they are not going to follow the elections.Meanwhile, a delegation of European Parliament is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at 6pm on Saturday, said an official.

On the other hand, two election experts of the EU are scheduled to arrive here on Tuesday to meet key interlocutors, including Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, said another official.Such an expert team usually submits a report to the EU headquarters on its observation, the diplomatic source said mentioning that they might stay in Bangladesh until January depending on the evolving situation.

The EU thinks sending a credible observer mission is a very big operation as it involves a good number of observers and needs a long preparation.It, however, expects free, fair, credible and transparent elections in Bangladesh.“We’re looking forward to free, fair, credible and transparent elections in this country,” said Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at European External Action Service Gunnar Wiegand during his Bangladesh visit in July last.

source: UNB