Lift emergency before elections in B'desh: Commonwealth

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Dhaka, Oct 27 (UNI) Visiting Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma today said the state of emergency is 'inconsistent' with a normal electoral process and it would be desirable if it is lifted before the elections.

''We've conveyed our position to the caretaker government that it is inconsistent with normal election. Obviously, it would be desirable for us if it is lifted,'' he told a media conference after meetings with caretaker government chief advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed and chief of the Election Commission Shamsul Huda.

Parliamentary elections were slated for December 18 but political parties are pressing for lifting the emergency rules imposed in January last year to cool down political turmoil.

Mr Sharma said the Commonwealth Secretariat will send an election assessment mission on November 8 or 9 to talk to the political parties, election officials, media and civil society to asses the pre-election situation. Later, an election observation mission will be coming to monitor the polls.

Mr Sharma welcomed that the elections are taking place on December 18 and said ''it is important that the caretaker government and the election commission will together ensure that the elections take place in a climate of peace and security.'' The secretary general praised that political parties holding dialogue with the election commission and caretaker government on the preparations for inclusive elections. This dialogue should ensure that any concerns can be addressed.

UNI XC PD SK KP2059

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