Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki has said they expect that the next national election in Bangladesh will be held in a "free and fair" manner with the participation of all major political parties.

"We expect the next election will be a better one. Free and fair elections need to be done here. That's my strong hope," he said while responding to a question at an event titled "Meet the Ambassador" held in a Dhaka hotel recently.

The Ambassador said he knows that the Election Commission is working for a free and fair election and the government of Bangladesh is also telling that a free and fair election will be conducted. "It's very important."

At the same time, the envoy said, this is something that the political parties should decide but the expectation is that the election will be a participatory one and the major political parties will participate in it.

Naoki said he heard about the example of "ballot box stuffing" and some police stuffed the ballot box the previous night which is something he did never hear in any other country.

He said "ballot box stuffing" should never be repeated.

Recalling 2018 election, Ambassador Naoki said the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka had issued a statement of concern which was very unusual for his country though it was focused more on violence.

Centre for Governance Studies (CGS) hosted the two events in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Bangladesh. Zillur Rahman, Executive Director of the Centre for Governance Studies moderated the programmes.

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