Euro Commission to decide in Sept
Friday, 29 August 2008

JS polls observers

Staff Correspondent

The European Commission (EC) will decide by the end of September whether it will send polls observers to monitor the ninth parliamentary election scheduled for December, says the commission's first secretary in Dhaka.

He said the commission's exploratory mission had submitted its report to the European Commissioner for External Affairs in July, elaborating the state of emergency and the existing political situation in Bangladesh.
"The EC Commissioner for External Affairs by the end of September will decide whether the polls observation mission will be sent to Bangladesh," Charles Whiteley, a first secretary to the Delegation of the European Commission to Bangladesh, told Wednesday.
Whiteley is in charge of political, economic, trade, press and information affirs of the delegation.
The European Commission sent an 'exploratory team' to Bangladesh on June 15 to assess the political situation.
The team had talks with political parties, government officials, journalists and civil society representatives to learn whether an 'election-friendly' atmosphere' existed in Bangladesh for holding the parliamentary polls in December.
The EC's External Commissioner take a decision on dispatching polls monitors to Bangladesh on the basis of the exploratory mission's report will.
"The report elaborated the state of emergency and the existing political situation in Bangladesh. But I don't want to share the specific recommendations of the exploratory team," said Whiteley.
European Union member of parliament Nirj Deva, in early August, told reporters while visiting Dhaka that the EU would not send an observation mission to Bangladesh if the parliamentary polls were held under the state of emergency.
The local EC mission issued no official comment on Deva's statement. But French Ambassador in Dhaka Charley Causeret in an interview in August told that the issue of sending a polls observation mission was yet to be finalised.
France is the current chair of the 27-member European Union.

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