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Conduct Of Bangladesh's Parliamentary Polls

Ban Appeals For Peaceful Conduct Of Bangladesh's Parliamentary Polls

New York, Dec 27 2008 10:10AM

On the eve of Bangladesh's "highly significant" parliamentary polls, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his call for a peaceful electoral process in the South Asian nation, which has been beset by political violence and polarization in recent years.

"He appeals to all political parties to continue to demonstrate responsibility, participate fully and honour the will of the Bangladeshi people," his spokesperson said in a statement issued today ahead of the elections, slated for 29 December.

"The Secretary-General wishes to stress that a stable post-election climate will be vital for the effectiveness and sustainability of the nation's democracy.

"He urges all political parties, irrespective of their performance in the elections, to work together in a spirit of dialogue and compromise, to address the challenges facing the nation. Such cooper
ation should include an enhanced role for the opposition in Parliament," the statement noted.

Last month, Mr. Ban set up a high-level panel, headed by his former personal representative for Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell, to assess and report on the conduct of the last stages of the electoral process and developments in the immediate post-election period.

The three-member team, which also includes Bhojraj Pokharel, Nepal's Chief Election Commissioner, and Aracelly Santana, the former deputy director of the UN Electoral Assistance Division, is currently in Bangladesh, following an earlier visit in November.

The team will report to the Secretary-General on the conduct of the electoral process and developments in the immediate post-election period, according to today's statement.

ENDS

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