UNSG finds Bangladesh polls ‘not perfect’

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 11:47pm on January 19, 2019

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UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres holds a press conference at UN headquarters in New York on Friday.-- UN photo

The United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, on Friday said the 11th parliamentary election in Bangladesh was ‘not perfect’ and called for meaningful dialogue among the political parties in Bangladesh.
‘It is obvious that the elections were not perfect,’ he said at a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York. ‘We encourage the different areas of the Bangladeshi political sphere to engage in meaningful forms of dialogue in order for the political life in Bangladesh to be as positive as possible.’
Asked whether the UN is willing to send any envoy or any special team to investigate the allegations of polls irregularities, Guterres said the UN did not have mandate for such investigations.
The Awami League-led alliance, headed by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, bagged 288 out of 299 seats in the 11th parliamentary elections marred by intimidation of voters and polling agents, possessing polling centres, massive stuffing of ballots and clashes among activists of contesting candidates on December 30.