There is no specific provision or law in Bangladesh that allows for election monitoring or observation but a policy was adopted by the Election Commission for entertaining local and foreign observers to observe all elections conducted by the Commission.
The observers are allowed to watch activities before and during the day of elections itself, including the count of votes, but are not allowed to interfere with any of the activities at the polling station. They are to remain completely neutral and non-partisan. The observers are expected to notify the Election Commission of the location that they want to visit during polling in order for them to be assisted by the District Administration. Guidelines have been provided by the Commission for the local and foreign observers. At the conclusion of the poll, the Observer Group are also expected to produce a copy of their written report for the Election Commission.
Observer Groups are also encouraged to have voter education programme, TV programme, rallies and other such activities that may encourage people to participate in the elections; however, the activities should be non-partisan, unbiased and free from any prejudice—religious, local and sectaria.
One of the foreign observers in Bangladesh is the National Democratic Institute (NDI) that has been observing parliamentary elections in the country—in 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2008. In 2014, before the Parliamentary elections, NDI provided an intensive training for Bangladeshi citizen observers on the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations in order to aid them towards effective monitoring and report on elections.
A non-government organization in Bangladesh also conducted election monitoring. Democracywatch have organized and managed election monitoring programs since 1996, together with its partners. They observed whether electoral rules and regulations are being followed as well monitoring activities that may lead towards violence. They also observe the participation of voters, particularly that of women.
Khan Foundation, a private and non-profit charitable organization, also conducts election monitoring, with democracy being one of its main working areas. It collaborates with domestic groups and coalitions to encourage citizens towards election monitoring efforts to promote electoral integrity accountability in government and political aspirants.
Khan Foundation is a member of the Election Working Group (EWG), a non-partisan, national coalition of civil society organizations, composed of 29 members. The EWG is committed towards free and fair elections and good governance in Bangladesh. It also encourages the participation of women, youth and other marginalized groups; furthermore, they aim to lessen the risk of violence during and after elections.
The participation of a number of observers improved the transparency of the process in conducting national elections, and further added credibility and political acceptance.
(n.d.). Retrieved from Election Working Group (EWG): http://www.ewgbg.org/.
(n.d.). Retrieved from Khan Foundation: http://khan-foundation.org/site/election_monitoring.php.
Bangladesh: Election Monitoring. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Democratic Institute: https://www.ndi.org/bangladesh.
Election Monitoring. (n.d.). Retrieved from Democracywatch: http://www.dwatch-bd.org/election.html.
Party Agents and Election Observers. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://amardesh.com/electoralSystemAgentsandObservers.php.
PDF : Party Agents and Election Observers (Amardesh)
PDF : Code of Conduct, Prevention of Pre-Poll Irregularities and Election Petitions (Amardesh)
PDF : Guideline for Local Election Observer 2013 (Bangla)
PDF : Guideline for Foreign Election Observers 2013
PDF : Guideline for Foreign Election Observer: The Parliament Election (English)
Domestic Observer Forms
PDF : Request for Accreditation : Observer Organization [Form-1]
PDF : Local Observers Profile Form [Form-2]
PDF : Election Observer Pledge [Form-3]
PDF : Election Observation by Observer Organization [Form-4]
Foreign Observer Forms
PDF : Foreign Observer Application Form
PDF : Foreign Observer Pledge Form
Reports from Election Observation Missions
PDF : Parliamentary Elections Observation Report (IRI: 2008)
PDF : Statement of the NDI: Parliamentary Elections (NDI: 2008)
PDF : Pre-Election Statement: Parliamentary Elections (NDI: 2008)
PDF : Report of the observation delegation: legislative elections (European Parliament: 2008)
PDF : Preliminary Statement: Parliamentary Election (EU: 2008)
PDF : Final Report: Parliamentary Elections (Commonwealth: 2008)
PDF : Interim Statement: Parliamentary Elections (Commonwealth: 2008)
PDF : Final Report: Parliamentary Elections (EU: 2001)