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NDI/Carter Center Delegation Observe Bangladesh Elections

A five-person international delegation organized by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and The Carter Center will be in Bangladesh from July 30 to August 4, 2001, to observe the electoral environment leading up to the parliamentary elections expected to be called for September or October. Former United States President Jimmy Carter will lead the delegation, which will also include Member of Cambodia's National Assembly Saumura Tioulong, NDI Senior Associate and Director of Programs on Elections and Political Processes Patrick Merloe, The Carter Center Senior Program Associate, Democracy Programs, Ashley Barr, and NDI Asia Deputy Director Lawrence Lachmansingh.

The purposes of the delegation are to demonstrate the interest and support of the international community for a peaceful and democratic election process in Bangladesh; to provide an impartial report on the environment surrounding the upcoming elections and the state of electoral preparations; and, if appropriate, to offer recommendations for improving the process. In order to meet these objectives the delegation will meet with the President; the Chief Advisor; members of the Caretaker Government and other government officials; the Election Commission and electoral officials; leaders of political parties and candidates; representatives of domestic monitoring groups and other civic organizations; journalists and academics; members of the diplomatic community; and others involved in electoral activities. Following these meetings in and outside Dhaka, the delegation is expected to release a statement on August 4, 2001.

NDI and The Carter Center are independent, nongovernmental organizations that have conducted more than 100 nonpartisan pre-election, election day and post-election observer delegations around the world. This delegation will conduct its activities in an impartial manner in accordance with Bangladeshi law and international standards for election monitoring. NDI and The Carter Center recognize that it is the citizens of Bangladesh who will ultimately determine the credibility of the 2001 elections.

It is anticipated that NDI and The Carter Center will also organize a joint international observer delegation to the parliamentary elections.

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