Defeated Bangladesh party questions neutrality of poll observers

January 3rd, 2009 - 2:00 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 3 (DPA) The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of former premier Khaleda Zia Friday questioned the neutrality of international elections observers during Monday’s polls, in which the party faced an embarrassing defeat.”Their observations were never intensive; how could they (foreign observers) claim that the polls were free and fair without visiting majority of polling stations?” Khandaker Delwar Hossain, secretary general of the party, told reporters.

More than 250,000 local and international observers monitored the general election, pronouncing it peaceful, credible and fair.

The international election observer groups from, amongst others, the United Nations, Commonwealth, European Union, Asia Foundation, National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, deployed nearly 1,000 observers in Bangladesh prior, during and after the voting.

Bangladesh’s Awami League Party of Sheikh Hasina Wazed won a landslide victory in the landmark Dec 29 polls to return the South Asian nation to a democratic system ending two years rule by a military-backed interim government.

Initially, the BNP alleged massive irregularities in polls but by Friday, the party indicated it was ready to cooperate the League government.

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