Eight MPs of the Canada-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Group have written to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina calling for free and fair elections. In the letter, they also expressed hope that the government will protect freedom of expression.
This Friday, Canada-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Group Chair Brad Redekop gave the information on social media X (Twitter). The eight Canadian MPs who signed the letter include Brad Redekop, Salma Ataullahjan, Salma Zahid, Luc Desilets, Ken Hardy, Larry Brock, Robert Kitchen and Kevin Wegg.
In a letter written to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the MPs said, “As members of the Canada-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Group, we would like to tell you (the Prime Minister) that we are deeply interested in seeing the elections held in Bangladesh in January 2024 be free, fair and peaceful.” We hope that Bangladeshi citizens will get a chance to choose the political party of their choice in this election.
We hope your government will protect freedom of expression and respect dissent, they said in the letter. Election irregularities such as voter intimidation, vote rigging and ballot box stuffing will be ensured.
We hope that your government will continue to strive to prevent violence and ensure the safety of all Bangladeshis in relation to political affiliations. Apart from this, all eligible Bangladeshi citizens will have the opportunity to actively participate in the elections.
A strong democracy thrives on the participation of diverse political ideologies and fair representation of citizens’ choices, the letter said. The democratic process can be ensured by allowing all political parties to participate freely and conducting the electoral process impartially.
It will not only strengthen the democratic structure of the nation but also be an inspiring example for the world.
Referring to bilateral relations in the letter, it is said that Canada and Bangladesh have a strong bilateral relationship. In the future, the exchange of people and goods between the two countries will increase. And this can happen only through strong democratic governments in both countries. At the end of the letter, the head of government is urged to ensure that the election process is free, fair and peaceful by involving all political parties with transparency in the upcoming elections.