Following a meeting between the European Union (EU) and Bangladesh Nationalist Party - BNP in the capital Dhaka on Tuesday (July 4, 2023), the party’s secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has told journalists that BNP will not take part in any election without a neutral government.

The BNP secretary general said they discussed the country’s latest political situation and the opposition parties position.

Mr. Alamgir informed the journalists that the EU will send an observation team to Bangladesh next week.

“They will hold talks sitting with all political parties and civil society in Bangladesh,” he said, quoting the EU Ambassador and members of his team.

“They (EU) told earlier that they want a free, fair and impartial election in Bangladesh,” he said.

According to Mirza Alamgir, the EU observation team which would come next week will explore whether a conducive political atmosphere is prevailing in Bangladesh to hold a free, fair and participatory election.

Asked what was their response, the BNP leader said, “We told them that a free and fair election would never be possible without a caretaker government in power. They also wanted to know whether it was possible to take part in election under this government,” he said.

When asked whether they discussed about the human rights situation in Bangladesh, Fakhrul said, “They (EU) are well aware of gross human rights violations in Bangladesh. However, we didn’t discuss the matter in detail.”

Asked whether they had insisted for any dialogue, the BNP secretary general said, “No, we didn’t discuss about any dialogue. Through the two previous general elections, this government proved that the next election under them would never be free, fair and neutral.” “So, we will not take part in any election without a neutral government,” he addes.

It may be mentioned that a delegation of the European Union (EU) held a meeting with the BNP leaders on Tuesday.

The meeting began at 3:00pm at the BNP Chaiperson’s political office at Gulshan in the capital. EU Ambassador Charles Whitley, EU DCM Spanier Brand and Political Officer Sebastian were present at the meeting.

On behalf of BNP, the party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Human Rights Affairs secretary Asaduzzaman Asad were present at the meeting.