EC opts for deploying army for city polls

EC opts for deploying army for city polls

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In the face of a growing demand from different quarters, the Election Commission on Tuesday decided to deploy army in three city corporations in Dhaka and Chittagong from April 26 to 29, aiming to peacefully hold the crucial polls on April 28.
Election Commissioner Md Shah Nawaz announced the decision following a meeting at the Election Commission secretariat on Tuesday.
“Army will be used as both reserve force and striking force. But the number of the army personnel to be deployed during the polls is yet to be fixed. The EC will decide it later,” he said.“Following a meeting with law enforcement and intelligence agencies on April 19, we came to know that the overall law and order situation is good. Although a favourable situation has been prevailing, we’ve decided to deploy army so that people can cast their votes without fear,” he added.
An uncertainty was created over army deployment during the elections to the three city corporations as five election commissioners were split on the issue.
Three commissioners, including Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, were in favour of deployment of the army ahead of the city polls slated for April 28, while the remaining two commissioners opposed.
Emerging from the EC’s coordination meeting over security arrangements, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad on Sunday said the Election Commission will decide within a couple of days whether army will be deployed during the city elections.
On April 19, all representatives from law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies at the meeting told the commission that the army deployment will not be required in the elections to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Chittagong City Corporation (CCC).
BNP, Shushashaner Janya Nagarik (Shujan) and a number of mayoral and councillor candidates, especially BNP-backed ones, had been demanding that army be deployed ahead of the city elections. – UNB

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