Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the decision not to send UK election observers to monitor the Bangladeshi elections; and what his policy is on sending observers to future such elections.

Photo of Hugh Robertson Hugh Robertson Minister of State

Only four international observers, from India and Bhutan, observed the 5 January election. After careful consideration, the EU decided on 20 December to halt preparations for the deployment of an EU Election Observation Mission, noting that the main political forces in Bangladesh had been unable to create the necessary conditions for transparent, inclusive and credible elections. The EU also stated, however, that it nonetheless remained ready to observe elections should conditions allow.

Domestic observer groups, including some members of the Election Working Group (an independent grouping of NGOs), did undertake some monitoring activities. The UK is one of a number of countries supporting The Asia Foundation to build the Election Working Group's capacity to observe and report on election conduct and preparations.

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