US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena on Thursday said, we made clear our view that the elections (of January 5) were not a credible reflection of the will of the Bangladeshi people. Reiterating the United States’ position on January 5 elections, Mozena said that Bangladesh is responsible for ensuring its own democracy, and ‘outsiders, no matter how well intentioned, cannot do it’.
“We made clear our view that the elections (of January 5) were not a credible reflection of the will of the Bangladeshi people… Bangladesh is responsible for ensuring its own democracy,” he said while sharing his views on Bangladesh’s youth-led initiatives through facebook chat, reports UNB.
Mozena also referred to the statement that the US Department of State issued in Washington on the day after the election mentioning that the US urged the parties to undertake immediate dialogue to find a way forward to free, fair and credible elections.
His remark came when the formation of new cabinet is underway under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The US ambassador said once Bangladesh sets itself on a course to build democracy, then America and Bangladesh’s other friends can help in building it.
He also said that democracy does not drop from the sky and it is built painstakingly by the people. “I think the best place to start building democracy is in the union parishads and upazila councils.”
Mozena said America and Bangladesh’s many other friends certainly are trying to be helpful to Bangladesh at this difficult time. “At the end of the day, however, only Bangladesh can chart a course that will lead to free, fair and credible elections.”
Once Bangladesh’s leaders have identified that course, America and other partners will want to help Bangladesh in implementing elections, he added.
Responding to a question, Mozena said: “I agree with you that the UN has played an important role in helping Bangladesh work its way through this political impasse, and I hope it will continue to engage in helping the two major parties find a way forward.”
Responding to another question, he said violence is simply not acceptable and violence from all quarters must stop. “…it’s not part of the democratic process … and must stop. You make some powerful arguments for why such violence is not acceptable.”
Ambassador Mozena also said America condemns violence, most especially that targeting the most vulnerable segments of society, particularly the ethnic and religious minorities.