Kamalesh Sharma happy at return of democracy in Bangladesh

January 6th, 2009 - 2:22 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 6 (IANS) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has congratulated Prime Minister Shekh Hasina and warmly welcomed what he called the restoration of representative democracy in Bangladesh.Sharma congratulated the people of Bangladesh for the successful conduct of last week’s general elections, saying they had reaffirmed their faith in the democratic process by turning out in record numbers to elect a government.

In a statement issued Monday, Sharma also commended the Bangladesh Election Commission for its “important role” in ensuring a smooth electoral process and a credible outcome.

“This has reaffirmed the institutional importance and centrality of election commissions in democracies, an area receiving special focus in the Commonwealth,” he said.

Sharma acknowledged in particular its impressive achievement in completing a nationwide voter registration exercise within a short space of time.

Congratulating Sheikh Hasina on the victory of her party, the Commonwealth Secretary-General expressed appreciation for her offer to give the opposition a more substantive role in the National Assembly.

The Commonwealth stood ready to work with the new government “in meeting the challenges that lie ahead”, Sharma added.

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