The visiting European Elections
Exploratory Mission yesterday discussed legal aspects of political party and
electoral reforms in Bangladesh in a meeting with Awami League presidium
members as part of their assessment of the pre-election situation.
The two-hour-long consultation, focused on the next general election, which has
long been stalled following a politico-electoral crisis, was held at the
Gulshan residence of acting AL President Zillur Rahman.
The EU mission arrived here on June 15 on
a weeklong visit to collect factual information to assess whether an EU
Election Observation Mission (EOM) is to be sent or not.
Talking to the newsmen, EU mission chief Zsolt Bartfai said their headquarters
is considering sending a team comprising 150 election observers ahead of the
parliamentary polls here.
Ashraful Islam said they informed the delegation that Awami League is always
for positive reforms, but, "unfortunately, the government is yet to take
effective steps, including implementing the draft law 'Political Party
innocent people have been arrested in the last few days, which is
unprecedented," he said.
The EU mission is scheduled to hold a wide range
of talks with government and political party leaders, election commission
officials and representatives of civil society and NGOs.
Its members already had a meeting with Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed, top
government officials and Heads of EU mission in Dhaka.
The EU emissaries will make recommendation to Commissioner for External
Relations Dr Ferrero Waldner who will decide in due course whether to deploy a
full EU observation mission to observer the 9th parliamentary elections in Bangladesh.
The Exploratory Mission will assess whether the recommendations provided by the
previous Exploratory Mission have been followed up by electoral and political
authorities in the country