UN asks Hasina to extend hand of friendship to Zia | world | Hindustan Times
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UN asks Hasina to extend hand of friendship to Zia

The UN has suggested to Bangladesh's Prime Minister-elect Sheikh Hasina to bury her hatchet with her arch rival Khalida Zia and strengthen democratic institutions in the country.

world Updated: Jan 03, 2009 17:48 IST

The UN has suggested to Bangladesh's Prime Minister-elect Sheikh Hasina to bury her hatchet with her arch rival Khalida Zia and strengthen democratic institutions in the country.

Francesc Vendrell, who headed UN's high-level panel to assess the Bangladesh's parliamentary elections, has asked the Hasina's Awami League party to extend a hand of friendship to the Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party saying, there should not be "a feeling of winners and losers."

He felt complaints by the BNP might not change the outcome of the elections, won by Hasina's Grand Alliance, much, even if many of them turned out to be valid.

"I have to say I have been encouraged by the public statement and also from the private conversation with Sheikh Hasina," Vendrell said.

"I think I have found that she has the right kind of spirit in reaching out to the Opposition and she lauded that there is a role for the Opposition in Parliament," he added.

He also paid tributes to the professionalism of the Election Commission, noting that both domestic and international observers have approved the "credibility and fairness" of the elections with which it managed the process.

The three-member panel, which also includes Bhojraj Pokharel, Nepal's Chief Election Commissioner and Aracelly Santana, the former deputy director of the UN Electoral Assistance Division, will report back to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon next week on the conduct of the elections.