Elections without emergency will enjoy legitimacy: British Ministe

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Dhaka, Oct 16 (UNI) British State Minister for Asia, Africa and UN Lord Mark Malloch Brown today said everybody recognises that the state of emergency should be lifted as elections in Bangladesh without emergency will enjoy greater legitimacy and credibility at home and abroad.

''I don't think anybody wants to conduct these elections under the state of emergency and everybody recognises that the emergency should be lifted. So, that's the ideal point,'' he told a media conference at the British HC residence wrapping up his two-day visit.

Mr Brown, however, said one has to recognise the government has issues and political parties have to help themselves so the emergency is lifted.

Pointing out the issues, he said first of all people who were convicted in corruption cases should not be allowed to stand for parliament and secondly, public security during the conduct of elections when there is always risks of volatility and violence.

These two issues could be addressed through discussions between political parties, caretaker government and election commission, and the emergency could be lifted on the basis of agreement on these two issues.

''If those underline issues could be solved can I suspect that the state of emergency becomes redundant and unnecessary and I don't think any body should use it and wave around to prevent participation in the election,'' he said.

The general elections are slated for December 18 but major parties are demanding the lifting of the emergency ahead of the elections.

Mr Brown who left for New Delhi this afternoon said since two former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina are not convicted there should not be anyone to prevent them from contesting the polls.

Asked UK's future relations with Bangladesh if the elections could not take place on schedule, Mr Brown said it is absolutely vital for UK that this government will hold the election by the end of this year and should preserve its caretaker character by returning the country to democracy.

Asked about his meeting with the army chief, he said General Moeen is keen to see the elections happen on December 18. He feels army played its part in preparing voters list. He is looking to political parties to play their part. 'He is anxious to do everything he can' to have a legitimate election.

UNI XC PD RK1750

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