>party reforms, relaxing emergency urgent: German delegation

>A visiting German parliamentary delegation yesterday said Berlin would not show any understanding and would exert political influence if the caretaker government in Bangladesh shows “unwillingness” to pass on power to an elected government.
Expressing its optimism that the general elections are going to be held by the end of this year, the six-member delegation stressed the need for internal democratic reforms of the political parties and asked the government to either relax or lift the state of emergency to pave the way for it.
“If we see it is simply the government that does not want to pass on power, then we would certainly not show any understanding for this and exert our political influence and insist that the election be held soon,” said Thilo Hoppe, head of the German delegation.
If the state of emergency continues for a long period, Germany will think that the caretaker government “is not playing by the rules”, he said, adding that Germany will then enter in a critical dialogue with the Bangladesh government.
Hoppe was talking to reporters at a press conference at Zia International Airport after Wrapping up the four-day visit of the delegation of the Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development of the German Bundestag.
The delegation flew in on March 26 and met the foreign affairs adviser, Economic Relations Division secretary, senior leaders of Awami League and the reformist group of BNP, donors of bilateral and multilateral development cooperation, NGOs and rights organisations. (Read full story)


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