National elections on Dec 23
Published : Thursday, 8 November, 2018 at 7:20 PM Count : 1237
The 11th parliamentary election will be held on December 23 this year.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda made the announcement on Thursday evening in a televised address to the nation.
The aspirants will have to submit their nomination papers by November 19, said CEC.
The nomination papers will be scrutinised on November 22, he said adding that the last date for withdrawing candidature is November 29.
UNB adds: While addressing the nation at 7pm, the CEC urged all the political parties to participate in the general election to keep the trend of democracy and pace of development uninterrupted.
"If there remains any disagreement dispute among them, then I urge them to resolve those politically. I request everybody to demonstrate patience and respectful political behaviour to each other," he said.
He also expected a competitive election with the participation of all political parties. "I believe in a competitive election irregularities can be checked with the active participation of the supporters of candidates," he added.
BSS reports: Huda said there is a constitutional binding to hold the 11th Jatiya Sangsad (JS) election by January 28, 2019.
“We have apprised the President of our preparation,” he added.
The CEC said: “The countdown of election has already started. The election commissioners have taken oath to conduct the election in accordance with the Constitution.”
He said procurement of polling materials and printing works are being completed. He said an inter-ministerial meeting was held for exchanging opinions. Officials and employees of the EC are performing their election duties, he said.
UNB adds: Nurul Huda urged the political parties to remain alert so that competition never turns into revenge or violence.
Law enforcement agencies will strictly be instructed to make sure that no voters, political leaders, activists, supporters or agents face harassment or false cases, said Huda.
He also assured the people of the country of creating a level- playing field by providing equal facilities for all during the election. "All candidates and political parties will get the equal facilities. Necessary circulars will be issued soon in this regard."
Listing a number measures taken by the EC for holding the national election, the CEC said they have prepared the voter list and amended the relevant laws ahead of the election while a list has been published re-demarcating parliamentary constituencies.
Besides, the voter list has been finalised, selection of 40,000 voting centers completed and the registration applications of 75 political parties have been disposed of, he said.
Training programmes have been arranged for the first time for polling agents, the CEC said adding that the procurement of election materials and printing works have been completed.
Besides, the preliminary process of appointing 7 lakh officials for conducting the elections has been concluded, while 6 lakh members of law enforcement agencies including police, BGB, Rab, Coast Guard, VDF and Ansar will be deployed, Huda said adding that executive and judicial magistrates will be appointed in each constituency.
Actions will be taken if they fail to perform their duty properly, he said.
Armed forces will be deployed for assisting the civil administration to maintain the law and order.
BSS reports: “Strict directives would be issued to the law enforcement agencies to ensure the voters, political leaders, workers, candidates, their (candidates) supporters and polling agents are not subjected to harassment and do not face cases without any reasons,” Huda said.
He said election related issues were discussed at the inter-ministerial meetings and the officials of the Election Commission have devoted themselves to the electoral duties.
The CEC said the political parties have already begun their preparations ahead of the general elections. “The civil society members and political commentators are expressing their opinions. Different media are publishing different articles, opinions and recommendations on election while TV channels are arranging talk shows centering the polls”, he added.
Huda said senior political leaders held dialogues with the Prime Minister for holding a participatory and fair election. “Besides, many organizations from home and abroad are expressing their interests to observe the polls. Congenial atmosphere has been created across the country for holding the upcoming parliamentary elections,” he added.
Expressing his optimism that the candidates and their supporters will obey the electoral laws and code of conduct, Huda said, “Every voter will cast vote in favour of their chosen candidate freely. The executive and judicial magistrates will ensure the enforcement of law and the law enforcers will ensure the security of the voting centers, voters, candidates, polling officials and agents.”
He hoped that the observers will perform their duties by maintaining the rules of the Election Commission. The Election Commission Secretariat will monitor overall situation.
Urging the political parties to reduce conflicts and complexities of diverse opinions politically, Huda said the parliament election creates the opportunities for establishing the ownership rights of the common people and creating room for forming a new government.
He expressed the hope that the election would be held in a contesting mode and a participatory manner with participation of all political parties.
The CEC said the commission is giving importance on using technology in election management. The candidates can submit their nomination forms by hand or through online, he added.
He said an initiative has been taken to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) on a limited scale along with old system in the national elections.
“We believe that the use of EVMs will bring about a qualitative change in elections and it will save time, money and reduce works,” said Nurul Huda.
The around 15-minute speech of the CEC was broadcast simultaneously on Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Bangladesh Betar.