Bd elections Dec 23: Nomination Nov 19, withdrawal Nov 29

Bd elections Dec 23: Nomination Nov 19, withdrawal Nov 29

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Dhaka, Nov 8 – The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) on Thursday announced the schedule of the 11th parliamentary polls when the political alliance Jatiya Oikya Front, which includes the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and some other political parties opposed the schedule announcement until the political impasse was over. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda in a televised address to the nation unveiled the schedule set the election to be held on Dec 23.
The last date of the submission of nomination papers will be by Nov 19 while the scrutiny is by Nov 22 and the withdrawal of nomination papers is by Nov 29.
Though the opposition alliance Jatiya Oikyafront which include Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and some parties, requested the EC that the schedule be put on hold until a political standoff is resolved with the ruling Awami League and its partners.
The EC earlier said the Commission could not defer the schedule because of the constitutional obligations.
Ruling Awami League during its meeting with CEC on Wednesday said its full support on the announcement of schedule on Nov 8.
In the recorded speech broadcast by state run television and radio, the CEC said urged all political parties to join the polls to keep continue the democratic process and the development speed.
He has urged all citizens to cooperate in conducting the elections.
The CEC said there is a constitutional obligation to hold the polls by 28 January 2019 and the countdown has already been started and a convenient environment has been created countrywide for holding the general elections.
About the preparation of elections, he said, the Commission prepared a roadmap setting a number of seven matters including law reforms and making the voter rolls in 2017.
The Commission also held dialogues with 40 registered political parties, civil society members, media representatives, observer agencies, election experts and women leaders to talk about the
election roadmap, he said.
The Commission has implemented the acceptable matters following their suggestions and recommendations like some laws and rules have been amended, list of the delimitation of the constituencies have been published and voter roles have been finalised, the CEC said.
He also said about 40 thousand poling centres have been selected and applications of 75 political parties for registration have been settled. Training for capacity building of the election officials is
going on and steps have been taken to train up the poling agents for the first time.
He also said they have already informed the President Md Abdul Hamid about their preparation for elections and have held an inter-ministerial meeting to provide necessary directives.
He also said primary preparations have been taken to appoint about seven lakh officials in different level for conducting the polls. Executive and judicial magistrates would be appointed.
The CEC said over six lakh law enforcers of different forces including Police BGB, RAB, Coast Guard, Ansar and VDP would be deployed in the polls.
“Legal actions would be taken against the officers if the elections are damaged due to their failure of duties,” he added.
About Army deployment, he said, “The armed forces would be deployed under the rules in Aid to the Civil Power to assist, what is needed, the civil administration to maintain law and order during elections.”
About the election environment in the country, he said, “A spontaneous interest is created among the people of all walks of life about the national election. Massive preparations are taken which include the strategy of politicians, candidates’ round the clock campaign, mass contact of the supporters, calculation of the voters, procession-slogans in the Haat and Bazar, flooding of posters in lanes and alleys, debate in the tea stalls, training of the officers, changes in the administration and preparation of law enforcers. A delightful and festive environs prevail among all ages irrespective of religion, color and caste in the election day.”
He also said, “The year 2018 is an election year. The political parties have already started taking preparations ahead of the election. The civil society is continuing its opinion. Opinions, essays, reports, articles by the election experts and political analysts are being published. The TV channels are holding talk-shows about elections.”
He even pointed out the dialogue of the political parties with the prime minister about holding free, fair and participatory polls.
He said the election observers both home and abroad have shown their interest to observe the polls.
The CEC in his speech emphasised that a convenient environment has been created countrywide for holding the general elections.
About the electoral code of conduct, he said, “Amid the exuberant preparations, I would expect, request and demand that the candidates and his supporters would abide by the electoral code of conduct.”
Assuring the security of the voters, CEC urged the voters to cast votes to the chosen candidates freely and consciously.”
He has sought the cooperation of the elites and elected representatives in the respective areas to ensure a fair environment in the poling centres.
Drawing attention to the poling agents, he said, “You would stay in the centres until you get the results.”
He said the election officers would play their neutral role and the executive and judicial magistrates would ensure the enforcement of the law.
He told the law enforcers to ensure the security of the poling centres, voters, candidates, election officers and agents.
The CEC said the media will publish objective news and the observers would follow the rules.
He hopes that fair elections can be held if all parties including the election commission secretariat play due roles.
Urging all political parties to join the polls, the CEC said, “I request the political parities if they have any difference of opinions or conflict of opinions between them, it should be settled politically.”
He has also requested the political parties to be tolerant, respectful and to behave politically to each other. “ I expect a competitive election through the participation of all parties. The active
participation of the candidates’ supporters pacify irregularities in a competitive election. I would specially request the political parties to keep careful eyes that their competition and rivalry should not lead to revenge and violence.” – Staff Reporter

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