Observing the U.S. Election: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Election Events: U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh

As submitted by embassy staff

Taking advantage of technology and social media, during Mission Dhaka’s election results gala, we connected via Skype with Bangladeshi journalists who were in the U.S. for the election. Guests connected on the big screen with Angur Nahar Monty from Bangla vernacular paper Bhorer Kagoj, Humphrey fellow for 2010-11, from Virginia and then spoke with Hasanuzzaman Saki, Chief Reporter of Boishakhi TV. Both journalists described the elections process that they saw and were very proud to be covering the U.S. elections for Bangladeshi audiences. During the event, we fielded a team of i-Pad interviewers, who circulated among the crowd of nearly 500 at the gala, snapping pictures and taking “spot interviews” which were posted on the Mission Facebook page in real time. We were able to get comments immediately, and created a sense of participation in our invite-only event among our 300,000 Facebook fans. In addition, three leading Bangladeshi bloggers covered the event live and amplified reporting to their followers through Twitter and Bangladeshi blogging platforms.

Two randomly selected guests at the Mission election gala on Wednesday morning observed the vote-counting and assisted the Ambassador in announcing the result. The crowd of nearly 600 cheered and applauded when the monitors verified the result. Although the approach was light-hearted, this component of our celebration underscored the Ambassador’s emphasis in his remarks on the importance of continually strengthening and deepening democratic institutions, competition, winning and losing, accepting the legitimacy of the results, and peaceful and effective transitions of power.

Click above images to enlarge and scroll through photo album.

Additional photos of election events can be found at http://www.facebook.com/bangladesh.usembassy.

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