Dhaka, July 19: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed her firm confidence that the Election Commission (EC) would be able to hold an inclusive, fair and neutral general election by the end of this year.The Prime Minister said this when German Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Niels Annen made a courtesy call on her at her Gonobhaban residence here, BSS reports.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said the Prime Minister expressed her firm confidence that the EC with support of all political parties, administration and other stakeholders would be able to hold an inclusive, fair and neutral general election.
During the meeting, Karim said, they discussed the issues of socioeconomic development of Bangladesh, upcoming election, Rohingyas and cooperation in various sectors between the two countries.
“Our Election Commission is absolutely independent and they have already conducted more than 6,000 polls at national and local levels. There was no question about the neutrality of those elections as sometimes we have won and sometimes they (opposition) have won,” the Press Secretary quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
Sheikh Hasina said her party has the history of long struggle for restoration of democracy in Bangladesh, which frequently suffered for military rule. The military rulers have destroyed the country’s democratic system and institutions, she added.
Niels Annen said it is his first visit to Bangladesh and he enjoyed the beauty of the country’s landscape from aircraft.
He also expressed satisfaction over strong and friendly relations of his country with Bangladesh.
The German Minister apprised the Prime Minister of the development of e-passport project and signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for its implementation.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the progress of the project being implemented by a German company, Veridos gmbh.
Niels Annen highly appreciated impressive socioeconomic development of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In this regard, he pointed out long tradition of vocational education of German, saying they can share their experience with Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina said the forcibly displaced Rohingyas were given shelter here on humanitarian ground.
“But, now they outnumbered local people and have been issued identity card after registration. Bangladesh wants a peaceful resolution of the Rohingya problem,” she said.
The German Foreign Minister said his government will continue to support Bangladesh for Rohingyas. “Rohingyas are immense pressure on the government,” he said.
The Prime Minister recalled her visit to Germany and invited German Chancellor Angela Markel to visit Bangladesh at her time of convenience.
PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nozibur Rahman, Chief Coordinator on SDG Affairs Abul Kalam Azad, Military Secretary Major General Mia Md Zainul Abedin, Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Imtiaz Ahmed and German Ambassador in Dhaka Dr Thomas Prinz were present.