'US visa policy a warning signal against vote rigging in Bangladesh'
Published : Thursday, 25 May, 2023 at 8:03 PM Count : 589
US's new visa policy is 'a major warning signal' against the vote rigging of ruling Awami League, BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury has said.
Welcoming the US's new visa policy targeting the next national election in Bangladesh, he said on Thursday that it is a major signal against the vote rigging of the party in power.
Talking to reporters in front of the party chairperson's Gulshan office, Chowdhury said Bangladesh has been witnessing vote rigging constantly. "We welcome their step to stop the future vote rigging in Bangladesh," he said.
Khasru, also the chairman of BNP's foreign affairs committee, said the US move has sent out a message that the people of Bangladesh can't exercise their right to franchise, and their constitutional rights have been taken away while their lives are at risk.
The BNP leader said the ruling party should be worried about their future if they again indulge in vote rigging, instead of restoring people's voting and democratic rights.
Amir Khasru said the US has mentioned about judiciary, media, law enforcing agencies and government officials. "The US will apply these restrictions to those who will indulge in vote rigging directly or indirectly," he said.
He also said the US has taken the move as a reflection of the people of Bangladesh's worries over the upcoming national election. "There's no discussion about the election of other countries, including our neighbouring ones. The US visa policy was announced exclusively for Bangladesh and its specific organizations and individuals."
The United States on Wednesday announced a new visa policy specific to Bangladesh, with a view to promoting free and fair elections.
"Under this policy, we can impose visa restrictions on individuals and their immediate family members if they are responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday.