Army to 'be deployed during polls, if need be': EC

Army to ‘be deployed during polls, if need be’: EC

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Election Commissioner Md Shah Nawaz on Tuesday said the army will be deployed in the next general election, if needed.   “The army had assisted during (national) elections in the past. If needed, we will take their help this time, too, considering the situation,” he told reporters at his Election Commission secretariat office.   The commissioner said the armed forces always helped the administration in all the previous general elections, no matter whether the forces were under the definition of law enforcing agencies in the Representation of the People Order (RPO).   “We’ll also take their help this time considering the situation and reality,” he said when his attention was drawn to a recent survey report that 65 percent people want the army deployment in the 10th national election due by January 24 next.   The Election Working Group, a conglomerate of 32 NGOs, conducted the survey in 118 constituencies across the country.   The armed forces were incorporated under the definition of law enforcing agencies in the RPO in 2001 but excluded in 2009.   Asked over BNP’s appeal seeking time for arranging it council, he said the commission has not yet taken any decision in this regard.   In September, opposition BNP sought time till May 31, 2014 from the EC to arrange its council stating that it could not hold the council due to adverse situation.   Turning to the controversial BNF which has applied for having registered with the EC, Shah Nawaz said he categorically said no polls symbol which is similar to ones of the registered political parties would be given to a new party.   He said the election will be held by January 24 and the preparation is going on to hold it as per the Constitution.   The Commission has already started receiving polls materials. “We’re ready to arrange the election by January 25. However, the decision over announcement of the election schedule has not yet been taken,” he said. – UNB

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