'EC nearly completes prep for next BD general polls'

‘EC nearly completes prep for next BD general polls’

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Dhaka, Aug 16 – The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday said it has no plan to hold any further dialogue with the registered political parties ahead of next parliamentary polls. “There is no possibility of holding any more dialogue with the political parties ahead of the national elections. EC has already completed 80 per cent of work for holding the next parliamentary polls,” secretary of the Election Commission Secretariat Helal Uddin Ahmed told the media at Election Bhaban in the capital.
As part of the roadmap of the Election Commission, it held dialogue with various stakeholders including the political parties in August 2017. Later several times the issue of holding another dialogue with the registered political parties raised at a different forum.
EC also said that they would hold the dialogue with the parties if necessary. But yesterday the EC secretary cleared that there is no possibility of holding another dialogue with them.
Now the political parties will have to make preparations for the taking part in the next 11th parliamentary polls as the schedule for election is likely to be announced at the end of October or beginning of November.
“The schedule of the general election is likely to be announced at the end of October or the beginning of November. As the elections will be held at the end of December or beginning of January next year,” Helal Uddin Ahmed said after holding a meeting with the Commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda.
In reply to a query, Helal said, “Eighty per cent preparation for holding the general elections has been completed so far. The Commission has taken all preparation whatever is necessary.”
He also said the Commission itself will hold another meeting before the national elections about what measures have been taken or would be taken before the polls. The meeting will help make a checklist to guide the next elections, he added.
About the checklist, he said, “We will verify whether the voters’ list of 300 constituencies is ready, the condition of the voting centres, buying papers for ballot papers, training of polling officers, presiding officers. What is the preparation of the law enforcers and discussion with deputy commissioners, superintendent of police, Upazila Nirbahi Officer.”
Helal said EC has already completed the voter lists. “We have already enlisted 42 thousand voting centres for the elections. Another five thousand centres may increase. The draft list of it has been sent to the district and Upazila level. The concerned stakeholders may raise complaints about the voting centres if any. It will be settled by hearing. Finally, a gazette will be issued on the final voting centres,” he added.
About buying various materials for the elections, he said, “We have already called tender in this regard. The work order has been given. They will hand over the election materials soon.”
The secretary also said a conference of the Forum of Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) will be held in Dhaka on September 5 and 6 when the representatives of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries will join.
The body will discuss various issues relating to the elections and its process of the eight SAARC countries and share their experiences, he added.
“We are giving utmost importance to the FEMBoSA conference as a host country. We can accept the experiences of the SAARC countries,” he said. – Staff Reporter

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