Elections Observation Mission in Bangladesh

The European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, congratulated the peaceful participation of the parliamentary elections in Bangladesh and called the political parties to face the challenges of governance in the country.

Background:

The elections for the ninth Parliament (Jatiya Sangshad) in Bangladesh took place on 29 December 2008. Election day was generally calm, orderly and well-organised. The European Commission notes with satisfaction that the elections registered a high turnout of voters.

In November, the EU re-deployed the Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Bangladesh, which was suspended on 11 January 2007. The EOM is led by a Member of the European Parliament, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff. The preliminary statement, presented by the Chief Observer Mr. Lambsdorff together with the Head of the European Parliament delegation, Mr. Charles Tannock, on 31 December 2008, concluded that the peaceful parliamentary elections mark an important step in the restoration of democratic governance to Bangladesh. The EU EOM deployed 150 observers from 25 EU Member States and Norway and Switzerland throughout Bangladesh to observe and assess the electoral process, in accordance with international standards for elections as well as the laws of Bangladesh. The EOM will stay on the ground until mid January to observe the post-election developments. A final report covering the elections and containing recommendations on the electoral process will be published by the EU EOM in the next few months.

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