Bangladesh needs free, fair polls for GSP plus facility: EUStaff Correspondent | Published: 23:28, May 27,2023
The European Union ambassador to Bangladesh, Charles Whiteley, on Saturday said that free and fair elections would be a positive signal for Bangladesh for its readiness to get GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) plus facility for exports of Bangladeshi products to the European Union markets.
‘If the election goes well in Bangladesh, it is a positive signal for its readiness to get the GSP plus facility,’ Whiteley said in an interview with private television Channel 24 as Bangladesh would not be eligible for the GSP facility from 2029 in the European countries, now a major destination of the exports of Bangladeshi products, accounting for around 60 per cent of the total exports.
He mentioned that Bangladesh would have to maintain 32 conventions that included political freedom and civil and political rights to get the GSP plus facility.
His statement came days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s May 24 announcement of a new visa policy to support Bangladesh’s goal of holding free, fair and peaceful national elections, restricting visa for any Bangladeshi individual undermining the democratic election process.
Whiteley, however, said that the EU, a bloc of 27 countries, underlined the need for political debate ahead of the upcoming elections to resolve the political crisis.
He said that there should be a certain level of political freedom and civil rights in the country. ‘We are not focused on the election day only, but also on the surroundings of the elections,’ Whiteley said.
He said that the EU pre-election mission was scheduled to come to Bangladesh on July 8 on a 13-day visit when they would talk to political parties, civil society and the media.
The European Union tweeted the clipping of ambassador Charles Whiteley talking about support for the upcoming parliamentary elections, including the EU observation mission, in an interview with Channel 24.
The European Union ambassador to Bangladesh, Charles Whiteley, on Saturday said that free and fair elections would be a positive signal for Bangladesh for its readiness to get GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) plus facility for exports of Bangladeshi products to the European Union markets.....