UN urges Bangladesh ruling party to show generosity to opposition

January 2nd, 2009 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 2 (DPA) The UN Friday urged Bangladesh’s government-in-waiting to show generosity in accommodating the opposition parties and to show restrain in order to make democracy work.”I encourage the winner to extend their hand of friendship to the new opposition to make parliament effective. I also urge the winner to show generosity to accommodate the opposition to make a constructive role in parliament,” Francesc Vendrell, head of UN secretary general’s panel for Bangladesh parliamentary elections, told a press conference in Dhaka.

The three-member panel, which came to Dhaka to assess Bangladesh’s situation prior, during and after Monday’s polls, is expected to submit a report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Its mission concluded Friday.

The Awami League led alliance of former premier Sheikh Hasina Wazed won a landslide victory against Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party led alliance in Monday’s polls to return the country to a democratic system, ending two years of rule by an army-backed unelected government.

Hasina is expected to form the new government Monday. The panel chief also urged both “winners and losers” to continuously show restraint as he found the polls were peaceful and credible.

Vendrell, who met with the incoming premier Hasina earlier, said he hoped there would be no “provocation” on the elections from anyone and the new government would take office soon.

To a question on Zia’s claim that the election was rigged and “unacceptable”, the UN official said that the she could lodge complaints with the election authorities with evidences. He said, however, he was doubtful it would affect the election results.

“International and domestic observers have told us that the elections seem to have been held in a peaceful climate and… the elections have been credible.”

The UN secretary general during his Nov 1 visit to Bangladesh announced that the high-powered panel would be sent to weigh the political situation for the general elections.

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