Norway critical of election process in Bangladesh

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“I am concerned about developments in Bangladesh. Many people were killed during the unrest in connection with the election, and the way the election was carried out was in itself unacceptable,” said State Secretary Morten Høglund.

“I am concerned about developments in Bangladesh. Many people were killed during the unrest in connection with the election, and the way the election was carried out was in itself unacceptable,” said State Secretary Morten Høglund.

On Sunday 5 January, Bangladesh held its tenth general election since the country gained independence in 1971. The election was marred by widespread, violent demonstrations, and many people were killed. The ruling party, Awami League, was re-elected following a boycott of the election by the opposition.  

“It is unfortunate that the two largest political parties in Bangladesh failed to agree on how the election process should be managed. The political conflict in Bangladesh is hampering development in the country. I therefore urge the political leaders to enter into real dialogue and agree on an inclusive political process that can bring stability and development to the country and its 160 million inhabitants,” Mr Høglund said.

In 2013 Norway provided NOK 70 million in development assistance to projects in Bangladesh. This funding has been channelled through the UN and NGOs. Norway’s priority areas in its development cooperation with Bangladesh are improving working conditions in the textile industry, promoting good governance, furthering human rights – with a particular focus on women’s rights, and climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.