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US Congressman positive about Government's response on poll-reform

By Staff
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Dhaka, Feb 22 (UNI) US Congressman Joseph Crowley today hoped that the Bangladesh government would respond to the Opposition's electoral reform proposals in Parliament and settle the issue to ensure free and fair general elections here.

''I know the minority has made their case or attempting to make their case in Parliament--and I hope that response from the majority will be done in a way to settle the issue,'' Mr Crowley told a crowded press conference at the American Center here.

The press conference was held at the end of his three-day visit when he met the government, Opposition and religious leaders and talked to them on both political and religious minority issues.

Terming the elections on January next year, as ''important moment in Bangladesh history'', Congressman Crowley said the United States wants to see free, fair and transparent elections where all eligible voters would be able to vote without any hindrance.

''Elections must appear to be free and open,'' he said echoing the observations of western diplomats being made these days with regard to the government-Opposition standoff on the election issues.

''We, in the United States, respect Bangladesh for democracy. We want democracy continues here to develop and flourish. It is important to have free fair elections for flourishing Bangladesh's democracy,'' the US lawmaker told the journalists.

Mr Crowley, also a co-chair of Congressional Bangladesh caucus, said many people from different countries would be here to monitor the elections, adding that the election process would once again prove that Bangladesh is a vibrant democracy--that it is.

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