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Woman GP flies out to Bangladesh to make sure election is fair

PUBLISHED: 10:15 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:54 05 October 2010

A GP from East London has joined two peers who are travelling to Bangladesh as observers in the country's General election this week. Dr Anwara Ali, a GP at the Spitalfields Practice and a local councillor at Tower Hamlets, has been chosen with Labour's Baroness Pola Uddin of Bethnal Green and Conservative Baroness Sandip Verma to scrutinise the voting next Tuesday

By Victoria Huntley

A WOMAN GP from East London has joined two peers who are travelling to Bangladesh as observers in the country’s General election this week.

Dr Anwara Ali, from the Spitalfields Practice and a local councillor at Tower Hamlets, has been chosen with Labour’s Baroness Pola Uddin of Bethnal Green and Conservative Baroness Sandip Verma to scrutinise the voting next Tuesday.

They fly to Dhaka tomorrow (Wednesday) to be briefed on how to observe the elections and study election law before going off to polling stations to watch the voting.

The delegation then gives feedback to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Dr Ali was apprehensive about the elections, she admitted, in light of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in neighbouring India earlier this month.

“I think it is important as a British woman with Bangladeshi heritage that we make sure these elections are conducted fairly,” she said.

“What happens in Bangladesh affects the rest of the world in today’s global society.”

She returns to London on New Year’s Eve, two days after the election.

The last time Bangladesh prepared for elections in 2006 led to months of strikes and street violence which forced the army to step in. The country has been under the military rule ever since, with the two main political parties disagreeing over when the election should take place.

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