Embassy of the United States of America
Public Affairs Section
Fax: 880-2-9881677, 9885688
Remarks By Ambassador Earl R. Miller After Meeting CEC
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The United States encourages the Government of Bangladesh to hold, as the Honorable Prime Minister has said, “free, fair, and credible elections”.
We’re concerned about the recent incidents of violence in 18 districts throughout the country. Everyone, no matter the political party or sentiment, should act peacefully and responsibly. All sides must eschew violence. Violence hinders the democratic process and only serves those who wish to undermine it.
The United States will be supporting election observation teams. The U.S.-funded National Democratic Institute (NDI)’s sub grant partner, the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), has dedicated two international electoral analysts to cover the election and will be sending international long-term and short-term observers.
The U.S. Embassy will deploy separate election observation teams throughout the country. In cooperation with the United Kingdom and Switzerland, we are also funding 15,000 domestic observers under the Election Working Group, a consortium of Bangladesh civil society organizations.
All parties should be free to participate fully in the political process. They should be free to express their political views, campaign throughout the country, and hold peaceful rallies and meetings. The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate.
Freedom of expression is vital for a healthy democracy, particularly the ability for media, civil society organizations, and members of opposition political parties to express their views and advocate for policy change.
The United States does not support any particular candidate or party; we support the democratic process and values the people of Bangladesh and the United States hold dear.
I encourage everyone to participate in the election and democratic process. By collectively expressing the will of the Bangladeshi people, you are building a better nation for your children and future generations.