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Monday, December 16, 2013

Bipartisan Letter sent to Bangladesh Prime Minister and Chairperson, Bangladesh Nationalist Party Urging Free and Fair Elections

Source: House Foreign Affairs
Washington, D.C. – Today, a bipartisan letter was sent to both Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, urging a free, fair, and credible election process.

The texts of the letters follows:

December 12, 2013
The Honorable Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Old Sangsad Bhaban
Tejgaon, Dhaka-1215
Bangladesh

Dear Prime Minister Hasina:

As an important partner in South Asia, the United States is committed to its relationship with Bangladesh. The very foundation of our partnership is built upon a strong bond of friendship.

It is in this spirit that we strongly urge you to engage in direct negotiations immediately with leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to ensure that the upcoming elections are free, fair and viewed as credible by the Bangladeshi people.

We are concerned that continued political deadlock and related violence, including violence aimed at Hindus and other minorities, will have a negative impact on the real progress that is being made Bangladesh. The country’s economic achievements, including a 6 percent annual growth rate, the decline in the poverty rate, and the tremendous growth in our bilateral trade is progress that we do not want to see stop.

At the same time, we fear the potential impact that politically motivated violence and a flawed electoral process will have on this progress.

We do not see how credible elections can take place unless the parties move quickly to engage in direct negotiations and all sides agree to move ahead. This includes the establishment of a mutually acceptable mechanism to carry out the elections in a credible manner. Furthermore, we don’t believe election related violence is acceptable or a legitimate part of the democratic process. We urge you to do everything within your power to prevent any and all forms of violence.

The United States will work with the future, credibly elected, Government of Bangladesh, and we urge that future government to exact no retribution on whichever party loses the election.

We will continue to closely follow this matter and appreciate your attention to ensuring that democracy is allowed to flourish in Bangladesh.

Sincerely,

Eliot L. Engel Edward R. Royce
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Steve Chabot Joseph Crowley
Member of Congress Member of Congress

George Holding Grace Meng
Member of Congress Member of Congress




December 12, 2013
Begum Khaleda Zia
Chairperson, Bangladesh Nationalist Party
H#06, R#86,
Gulshan-2, Dhaka-1212
Bangladesh

Dear Madam Zia:

As an important partner in South Asia, the United States is committed to its relationship with Bangladesh. The very foundation of our partnership is built upon a strong bond of friendship.

It is in this spirit that we strongly urge you to engage in direct negotiations immediately with leaders of the Awami League to ensure that the upcoming elections are free, fair and viewed as credible by the Bangladeshi people.

We are concerned that continued political deadlock and related violence, including violence aimed at Hindus and other minorities, will have a negative impact on the real progress that is being made Bangladesh. The country’s economic achievements, including a 6 percent annual growth rate, the decline in the poverty rate, and the tremendous growth in our bilateral trade is progress that we do not want to see stop.

At the same time, we fear the potential impact that politically motivated violence and a flawed electoral process will have on this progress.

We do not see how credible elections can take place unless the parties move quickly to engage in direct negotiations and all sides agree to move ahead. This includes the establishment of a mutually acceptable mechanism to carry out the elections in a credible manner. Furthermore, we don’t believe election related violence is acceptable or a legitimate part of the democratic process. We urge you to do everything within your power to prevent any and all forms of violence.

The United States will work with the future, credibly elected, Government of Bangladesh, and we urge that future government to exact no retribution on whichever party loses the election.

We will continue to closely follow this matter and appreciate your attention to ensuring that democracy is allowed to flourish in Bangladesh.

Sincerely,

Eliot L. Engel Edward R. Royce
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Steve Chabot Joseph Crowley
Member of Congress Member of Congress

George Holding Grace Meng
Member of Congress Member of Congress

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