Commonwealth Secretary-General calls for peaceful elections in Bangladesh

05 January 2024
Press release
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The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, called on all political and civic leaders in Bangladesh to contribute to a conducive environment for citizens to peacefully exercise their right to vote.  

She also urged leaders to continue to strengthen the country’s cherished values of democratic governance. Noting that Bangladesh will be holding the first national election of 2024 among all Commonwealth countries, the Secretary-General said: 

“In this momentous year, when more than sixty nations are expected to hold national elections, representing almost half of the world’s population, we remember the Commonwealth family’s commitment to peace and democracy.  

“Looking towards and beyond the elections of 7 January, I urge leaders, candidates, and parties to actively encourage all to advance the Commonwealth values of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights in Bangladesh.”  

Following an invitation by the Bangladesh Election Commission, a Commonwealth Expert Team (CET) is in the country ahead of the parliamentary election on 7 January 2024. 

The Secretary-General also noted our responsibility to youth and future generations: 

“I am sure I echo the sentiments of the people of Bangladesh, a treasured member of the Commonwealth, in calling on all political and civic leaders to foster tolerance, respect and understanding, and discourage violence and hate speech. In keeping with our Commonwealth values and again echoing the aspirations of the Bangladeshi people, I encourage all to resolve electoral disputes through the relevant legal channels.”   

“Our Commonwealth family thrives when we encourage the invaluable contributions of civil society and when we promote judicial independence and media freedom. As Bangladesh nears this important moment, I wish all its leaders and people the very best in continuing the democratic journey of their beloved Sonar Bangla.”    

In keeping with her pre-election statements on countries around the Commonwealth, the Secretary-General reiterated that the Commonwealth Secretariat will continue to support members of the Commonwealth family to strengthen their democratic institutions.

Media contact

  • Charmaine Wright  Head of Media Relations • Media and Public Affairs, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • T: +44 20 7747 6242  |  E-mail