The outgoing US ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday (Tuesday). The meeting was held at the Prime Minister`s official residence Ganobhaban at 7 pm. Prime Minister`s International Affairs adviser Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and Prime Minister`s Office Secretary Sajjadul Hasan were also present in that meeting.
According to the sources, at one stage of the meeting, the US ambassador raised many questions about the upcoming parliamentary elections. She said there should be discussion over the elections and the elections should be participatory. The US ambassador also raised issues related to the security in the elections.
At that time, the Prime Minister wanted to know from Bernicat if she has come to her (PM) as an ambassador or as a leader of the opposition party.
The US ambassador then said the matter is not like that. I am highlighting the interests of my country.
Then the Prime Minister highlighted the steps of his government to arrange free fair and neutral elections and said that the next elections will be held accordingly.
Taking the example of the recent Sylhet City election, the Prime Minister said, "We have been defeated in many elections. But we did not try to win by using any kind of influence."
On the issue of the US observer in Bangladesh poll, the PM said her party is preparing to welcome any election observer group in the next elections.
At this stage, the Prime Minister said to the US Ambassador with a funny tone, "I have heard many issues related to the elections in your ocuntry. The problems related to the last elections have not yet been resolved. We have already made an appropriate arrangement for our upcoming elections and I`m going to retire from politics. You may invite me to monitor your country`s elections."