Amid demand from opposition political parties, the Election Commission on Monday deferred the 11th national election to December 30 from December 23.
Different political parties and alliances, particularly Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikyafront and Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Juktafront, had been pushing for delaying the election as they said the election schedule was announced hurriedly.
The Commission published a gazette notification rescheduling the general election in the afternoon.Earlier in the day, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda at the EVM fair in the city announced that the parliamentary elections will be held on December 30 (Sunday).According to the new reschedule, the deadline for submission of nomination papers is November 28, while that of scrutinizing nomination papers is December 2 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 9.
As per the previous schedule announced on November 8 last, the deadline for submission of nomination papers was November 19, while the scrutiny date of nomination papers was November 22 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature was November 29.
On November 3, the Jatiya Oikyafront sent a letter to the Election Commission requesting it not to announce the next general election schedule until the political dialogue was over.The CEC on November 6 said there was no possibility to delay announcement of election schedule. He, however, said the announcement date could be revised if all political parties agreed to do so.
During the second round of talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her 14-party alliance leaders on November 7, the BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront called for arranging the 11th national election either at the end of February or in March next dissolving the 10th parliament.
The Oikyafront had been demanding the deferment of the election since the announcement of the election schedules on November 8.Immediately after the announcement of previous schedule, Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Juktafront in a statement also asked the Election Commission to defer the polls by one week.
BNP, on behalf of 20-party alliance and Jatiya Okiyafront, formally sent a letter to the Election Commission on Sunday last seeking deferment of the polls by one month.On the same day, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said his party will have no objection if the election schedule is deferred but this should have to be done logically.
Later, on Sunday, the CEC said they would take the decision on Monday whether the schedule for the 11th parliamentary elections will be deferred or not.The EC give in the demand of Oikyafront partially and that of Juktafront completely rescheduling the election.The Election Commission has the constitutional obligation to complete the national election by January 28 next.
According to the Article 123 of the Constitution, a general election shall be held, (a) in the case of a dissolution by reason of the expiration of its term, within the period of ninety days preceding such dissolution; and (b) in the case of a dissolution otherwise than by reason of such expiration, within ninety days after such dissolution.The existing 10th parliament sat in its maiden session on January 29, 2014 after the January-5 general election.