UK for holding free, fair elections at all levels

New British high commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake talks to journalists on Wednesday at her first interaction with the media after taking over charge. — New Age photo

New British high commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake talks to journalists on Wednesday at her first interaction with the media after taking over charge.

The new British high commissioner, Alison Blake, stressed the need for strengthening parliamentary democracy and pluralistic system by holding free and fair elections at all levels with participation from all political parties.
There was concern about the conduct of the elections in the past, she said at a press conference on Wednesday and expressed her hope that the government, the parliament and all the political parties here would work involving all stakeholders for strengthening parliamentary democracy.
It was her first press conference held at the British High Commission in the capital after taking over office on Tuesday.
Alison Blake, the first female British high commissioner in Dhaka, expressed readiness of the UK for working with all stakeholders including the civil society for strengthening parliamentary democracy and a pluralistic system.
‘We believe democracy with a flourishing civil society operating under the rule of law is the best way to build a prosperous and stable society,’ she said.
As members of the Commonwealth, the HC said the countries share a set of core values including a commitment to parliamentary democracy and a tolerant and pluralistic system with a commitment to protect and uphold human rights.
The UK was ready to support Bangladesh to develop institutions befitting a middle income country and to ensure that in the pursuit of economic growth and development ‘no one is left behind’, she said.
On a question of human rights situation, the HC said they were aware and concerned about violations of human rights.
The process of enforcement of law including holding proper investigations on all allegations should be followed, she said.
The HC said the two countries were working on ensuring security of air travels especially with the countries from where direct flights to the UK destinations are operated.
Asked about increasing import from Bangladesh and transfer of technology from the UK, she said she would focus on reducing trade deficit, which is now in favour of Bangladesh, by encouraging British companies to increase visit and trade in Bangladesh.
Appreciating 500,000 British Bangladeshis, she said they have made an immense positive contribution to every aspect of British life, from Parliament to business, food, arts and culture.
On a question of hate campaign against Muslims in a section of European countries after terrorist activities of Daesh in the West Asia, she said the UK, which is an open and multi-culture country, did not support hate campaign based on colour, race and religion of people.
Alison Blake presented her credentials to president Abdul Hamid on Tuesday.

Source: New Age

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