Ban asks Bangladesh political parties to resume dialogue

Unacceptable, says U.N. chief

January 07, 2014 02:51 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:26 pm IST - Dhaka

Police patrol early morning on a street in Dhaka on Tuesday. On January 6, 2014, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina's ruling Awami League party won one of the most violent elections in the country's history, marred by street fighting, low turnout and a boycott by the opposition.

Police patrol early morning on a street in Dhaka on Tuesday. On January 6, 2014, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina's ruling Awami League party won one of the most violent elections in the country's history, marred by street fighting, low turnout and a boycott by the opposition.

Terming the continued violence over the recent elections “unacceptable,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon, has called Bangladesh’s political parties to resume “meaningful dialogue” for inclusive political process.

Instead of following the U.S. in debunking the Jan. 5 elections in Bangladesh as ‘not at all credible,’ Mr. Ban has chosen to lambast the unprecedented violence that left 21 people dead during the day of polling alone, with the Opposition activists attacking poll stations and officials.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he was saddened by the violence. However, he regretted “that the parties did not reach the kind of agreement that could have produced a peaceful, all-inclusive electoral outcome.”

Mr. Ban called upon all to exercise restraint and ensure a conducive environment, where people can maintain their right of assembly and expression. The U.N. would continue to support Bangladesh’s democratic processes “in accordance with the principles of inclusiveness, non-violence and dialogue,” he said.

The U.S. State department said the elections lacked credibility and called for a dialogue to pave the way for an inclusive election.

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