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US for favourable poll atmosphere in Dhaka

Regretting the Awami League-led alliance's decision to boycott the January 22 polls, it has asked the coalition to reconsider its position.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 15:54 IST

The United States on Friday asked the caretaker government in Bangladesh to act swiftly for creating a favourable atmosphere for holding free and fair elections in the country failing which it would review its support to the process.

"Our own support and observation missions will depend on whether such conditions are created," a US embassy statement said.

Regretting the Awami League-led alliance's decision to boycott the January 22 polls, it has asked the coalition to reconsider its position.

Free, fair and credible elections are a critical part of any democracy. Past elections in Bangladesh were generally acknowledged to have met internationally recognised standards of fairness, the statement said.

"We call on all parties to set aside narrow, partisan agendas and join together in serious, constructive dialogue to create an acceptable environment for participation by all major parties in the election."

It said "violence has no place in a democratic society. While political protest is an integral part of democracy, violence is not."

"We call on all parties to reject violence, conduct themselves peacefully, and refrain from provocation."

Former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed's Awami League-led mega alliance along with several smaller groups have said they would boycott the January 22 polls and resist holding such a "farcical elections under a blue-print of the previous BNP government."