US doesn’t favor any political party in Bangladesh over any other: Envoy

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Dhaka, Aug 10: Ambassador of the United States (US) to Bangladesh Peter Haas on Wednesday cleared his stance that the US does not favor any political party in Bangladesh over any other.

“Just to be clear, the United States does not favour any political party in Bangladesh over any other,” Hass told a meeting on the National Launch of e-Learning Platform “Politics Matters” by USAID’s Strengthening Political
Landscape Project in a city hotel.

“The United States is proud of our close partnership with Bangladesh over the past 50 years . . . We continue to be a strong supporter of this country’s efforts to improve the quality of life for all its citizens,” he said.

Referring to the meeting with members of individual parties, he said he particularly enjoyed this setting where multiple parties join together despite their policy differences.

The US envoy in Dhaka termed (meeting) as a hallmark of democracy and said, “A fundamental way to improve the quality of life for citizens is to give them the opportunity to participate in free, fair, and transparent elections held in accordance with international standards.”

Hass said holding free and fair elections, according to the US experience, is a complicated task, where it is required the participation of every part of society.

“From the Election Commission (EC) to the government, from the media to law enforcement, from civil society to political parties, everyone has an important role to play,” he pointed out.

If any one of them fails to fulfil their responsibility or if any one of them prevents another from fulfilling their responsibility, free and fair elections become nearly impossible, the ambassador observed.

About the program of launching the Politics Matters e-learning platform (www.politicsmatters.com.bd), Peter Hass said this free Bengali-language platform offers international-standard training modules on political party
practices, leadership development, conflict resolution, and democracy strengthening to the smart-phones and computers of political party activists and leaders.

It would encourage political leaders and grassroots activists from all parties in Bangladesh to take advantage of this platform to build Bangladesh’s democracy, the envoy hoped.