The United States on Tuesday voiced disappointment over the widespread, firsthand and credible reports of vote-rigging, intimidation and violence, and the BNP’s decision to boycott the city polls.
“We’re disappointed by widespread, firsthand, and credible reports of vote-rigging, intimidation and violence that have occurred at polling stations today,” said a statement issued by the US Embassy in Dhaka after the polls.
The US demanded investigations into the irregularities transparently and impartially. “It’s important that irregularities be investigated
transparently and impartially.”
The US also called on all parties involved to work within the law and avoid violence at all costs. “We condemn in the strongest terms any use of violence for political objectives.”
US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat also vented her disappointment through tweeter. "Disappointed that BNP is pulling out of all three city polls in Bangladesh."
In another tweet she said, "Winning at any cost is not victory at all."
She also wrote, “Disappointing to hear so many first-hand reports of intimidation and violence and their effect on today’s City Polls in
Earlier talking to reporters, the US diplomat also said every citizen who came out today to cast their vote should be able to do that.
“In order for elections to be meaningful, every citizen who came out today to cast their votes should be able to do that,” she told
reporters after visiting the Biddyaniketon School and College center in Banani.
She said they and other foreign friends of Bangladesh are looking forward to the results of these elections and wished everyone good
Asked about the allegations of driving out agents, Bernicat said this will be for the Election Commission to look into. "The government
promised free and fair election. That's what people are expecting."
She mentioned that they condemned the pre-election violence.
Responding to another question, the US envoy said she is a student today and mentioned that in the USA when something happens and people cannot vote in that case those voters get an opportunity to vote later. "How does it work in Bangladesh?"
Asked whether the country will return to violent politics after the elections, Bernicat said, "I hope that people don't resort to violence. This is a democracy and people need to use the democratic space."
Bernicat said it was disappointing to learn of violence during the city polls in polling stations in other two corporations.
She, however, said she was happy to see voters coming out for voting.
Earlier on Monday, she tweeted, "Fair, free and credible elections are the cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Hope, tomorrow's
elections are an example of that spirit."
BNP already boycotted the elections both in Dhaka and Chittagong due to what they say irregularities.