Bangladesh's friends and partners from across the world keep congratulating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her election victory as she formed her new cabinet on January 11 with a mix of new and old faces.

They vowed to work together with the government and people of Bangladesh to strengthen their ties with the country.

Even though the United States concluded that Sunday's election was not "free or fair" it voiced commitment to work with Bangladesh.

"Looking ahead, the United States remains committed to partnering with Bangladesh to advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, to supporting human rights and civil society in Bangladesh, and to deepening our people-to-people and economic ties," said US State Department Spokesperson Mathew Miller a day after the voting.

The European Union (EU) said it will continue to work with the government of Bangladesh on the priorities that characterise their longstanding relations in the political, human rights, trade and development spheres including the country's possible future access to the GSP+ preferential trade scheme.

"The EU strongly encourages all stakeholders to respect political pluralism, democratic values and international human rights standards and to engage in peaceful dialogue," said High Representative Josep Borrell Fontelles in a statement on behalf of the EU.

It is essential that the media, civil society and political parties can carry out their work without censorship or fear of reprisals, said the EU.

The United Kingdom encouraged all political parties to address their differences and find a common way forward in the interests of the people of Bangladesh. "We will continue to support this process."

The UK, however, said the January 7 election did not provide the "fullest options" to the Bangladeshis.

The Australian government has urged the Bangladesh government to "prioritise" the strengthening of its democratic institutions, which "underpin" the protection of human rights, the rule of law, and the promotion of development.

"As a close partner, Australia remains committed to working with Bangladesh to achieve our shared vision for an open, stable, prosperous and inclusive region," said the Australian government in a statement on Bangladesh elections.

Earlier, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Muslim world and other South Asian countries congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda extended a cordial invitation to Hasina to pay a visit to Nepal at a convenient time.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland KC also congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her election victory.

"My congratulations to you- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on your electoral victory," she said.

The Commonwealth Secretariat stands ready to partner with Bangladesh to achieve national priorities and looks forward to working with the PM for the people of Bangladesh and all members of the Commonwealth Family, she said.

Canada, however, expressed its "disappointment" that this electoral process has "fallen short of" the principles of democracy and freedom upon which Bangladesh was founded, and called on the relevant authorities to work transparently with all parties to move forward towards democracy, respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in line with the interests of the people of Bangladesh.

"Canada commends and supports the democratic aspirations of Bangladeshi citizens and condemns the acts of intimidation and violence that took place ahead and during the elections," said the Canadian government in a statement on January 9.

On the other hand, Canada-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Group congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her election victory.

"We look forward to further deepening the ties between Canada and Bangladesh and will continue working with you and your government to that end," a message to PM Hasina reads.

Chair of Canada-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Group, Brad Redekopp, MP; Vice Chair Salma Ataullahjan; Kevin Waugh, MP; Larry Brock, MP; and Ken Hardie, MP jointly sent the congratulatory message.

Congratulating Prime Minister Sheikh, founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, said he is confident that under her leadership, Bangladesh will be able to fully realize its economic potential and become a developed country by 2041.

"The bold reforms taken forward under your leadership have helped raise Bangladesh's economic and social standing," Schwab said in a message to PM Hasina.

"The World Economic Forum looks forward to working closely with you and your government to support in achieving its full growth potential," he said.

Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Director General Binayak Sen has said the United States is undeniably a strong influencer of development dynamics but it needs to rethink its role.

He said the US needs to fund for new economic projects, duty free access, new FDI opportunities, and stopping global conflicts.

In a separate message shared on X (formerly Twitter), he said almost everyone agrees that the parliament lacks strong opposition. "AL needs to find a way out."

The country's challenges are huge, which need to be settled through open and sharp debates, the economist said. "I propose that Article 70 of the constitution be abrogated to allow dissents and differences," he mentioned.

By now, the government has said, Bangladesh's democratic polity has reached a stage where smooth and peaceful transition of power between elected governments is ensured without any undemocratic arrangement.

"Democracies have weaknesses, but they attain maturity only through practicing democracy," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a briefing note shared with the diplomats stationed in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Although many leaders and activists of BNP were keen to participate, it is regrettable that its top leadership decided otherwise on the pretext of their unconstitutional demand for the provision of a caretaker government, MoFA conveyed to the diplomats.

In 2011, Supreme Court of Bangladesh declared the unelected caretaker provision ultra vires and void as it conflicts with the spirit of democracy as a fundamental principle of our State Policy.

The 12th Parliamentary elections of Bangladesh were held on January 7 in a "free, fair, impartial and transparent" manner with spontaneous participation of the voters, MoFA said.

The 2024 polls have set a new milestone in the history of the journey of parliamentary democracy in Bangladesh, it said.

"We look forward to seeing better partnership, better cooperation and better accommodation. This is essential to us," said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.

He said Bangladesh has made many achievements due to cooperation and collaboration.

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