British envoy: Failure to probe polls fraud a shame

Expressing his disappointment, British High Commissioner in Dhaka Robert Gibson has said the failure to probe the allegations of electoral fraud in the three city corporations was a shame.

The UK envoy made the observation while addressing the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) flagship “DCABtalk’”at National Press Club on Thursday.

Noting that the UK was satisfied with the poll process as it was being conducted peacefully and smoothly, he said: “There was no indication ofviolence at the beginning of the day.

“But, the situation changed later and the evidence of violence has been found on social media and in the press.”

“I hoped the authorities will conduct a fair probe into the electoral fraud based on the amount of evidence that was on the social media and in the press. It is shameful that the probe does not appear to have happened,” added the envoy.

Elections in Dhaka South, Dhaka North and Chittagong City Corporations were held on April 28.

Terming the city polls farcical, BNP rejected the three city corporation polls.

However, the Election Commission monitored that no large-scale violence had taken place during the polls, though there were some stray incidents which law enforcers brought under control immediately.

Commenting about the current democratic situation in Bangladesh, Gibson said: “It is very difficult to define democracy. Bangladesh wants to be a democratic country and the parliament protects democracy.

“But it is very unfortunate that the BNP did not take part in the January 5 national election.”

Gibson said the UK is determined to pursue every opportunity to promote human rights and political and economic freedom around the world.

“That’s why the UK government has six priority areas to protect human rights – freedom of expression, prevention of torture, abolition of the death penalty, freedom of religion or belief, women’s rights and business and human rights,” he added.

Source: Dhaka Tribune