Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Dr Rajiv J Shah has written a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and urged her to find an agreed path to hold a free, fair and credible election.
“The people of Bangladesh want free, fair and credible elections. I urge you to find an agreed path to holding the elections that the Bangladeshi people so deeply want,” he said in the letter to the Prime Minister.
Rajiv Shah, the 16th administrator of the USAID, appreciated the leadership of the Prime Minister and assured her that the United States stands ready to do its part in supporting such (as desired by people) elections, according to the letter obtained this correspondent from a reliable source.
“Your considerable leadership skills can help Bangladesh’s major political parties find an agreed way to hold free and fair elections that are deemed credible by the people of Bangladesh,” the letter reads.
Referring to US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal’s discussion with the Prime Minister during her recent visit in Dhaka, he said the US believes constructive dialogue between the major political parties is crucial to resolving any impasse over holding free, fair, and credible elections.
Appreciating Bangladesh’s progress in some areas, the USAID administrator said over two decades, Bangladesh has reduced maternal mortality by 66 percent from 570 to 194, which is on track for achieving Millennium Development Goal 5 for maternal health.
“The US government, largely through the USAID, has a strong partnership with you advancing development. You have a clear legacy of promoting Bangladesh’s development and reducing the nation’s poverty rate,” he said.
Rajiv Shah mentioned that the US also partners to help mitigate the effects of global climate change and to strengthen emerging democratic institutions. “These are hallmarks of our successful partnership.”
The copy of the letter was also sent to three other persons, including Nisha Biswal and US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena.
Earlier, six influential Democrat and Republican members of the US House of Representatives wrote separately to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia to engage in direct negotiations immediately to ensure that the upcoming elections are free, fair and viewed as credible by the Bangladeshi people.
They urged the two leaders to carry out the elections in a credible manner through establishing of a mutually acceptable mechanism.