The Election Commission said they will not use EVMs in the election if the public feels uneasy using them to cast their vote
The 11th general election will be held across Bangladesh on December 30, instead of December 23.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda announced the new date while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of an electronic voting machine (EVM) exhibition at BICC-Bangabandhu International Conference on Monday.
Adhering to the new timetable, candidates must file their nomination papers either online, or manually, by November 28.
Huda said the last date for withdrawing, scrutinizing nomination papers, and symbol allocation will be announced later.
Later in the evening, the Election Commission issued a gazette confirming its earlier announcement of rescheduling the 11th parliamentary election to December 30 and the last date of filing nominations to November 28.
The gazette also said the last day for filing nomination papers is November 28.
The new last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 9 and returning officers will scrutinize the nomination papers on December 2.
Earlier the deadline for filing nomination papers was November 19. The date for scrutiny of nomination papers was November 22.
Talking to the media about the decision to reschedule the election, CEC Nurul Huda said the decision was made following discussions with other commissioners.
Jatiya Oikya Front – a political alliance of opposition parties that includes BNP – urged the Election Commission to defer the polls by a month on Sunday.
Previously, on November 8, the commission had declared December 23 as the date for the general election.
EVMs will not be used if public uneasy
“EVMs will be scrapped if the people do not have confidence in them,” Election Commissioner Kabita Khanam said at the EVM Fair.
The Election Commission has organized the EVM Fair at the Bangladesh China International Conference Centre (BCICC) in Dhaka. At the fair, viewers will be able to see how EVMs should be used. The event will remain open, for all, from 3pm to 9pm.
Previously, in his address to the nation, the chief election commissioner had said EVMs would be used on a small scale, in urban areas, during the election.
Parties get more time to buy nomination forms
Since the Election Commission deferred the election by a week, nomination-seekers will have more time to purchase their forms.
Awami League started selling their nomination forms on November 9—a day after the Election Commission announced the election schedule.
Jatiya Party started distributing nomination forms on November 11.
Additionally, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh is also scheduled to start distributing their nomination papers, among nomination-aspirants, for the upcoming general polls on Monday.
Order to appoint executive magistrates
The Election Commission (EC) has directed the Public Administration Ministry to appoint an adequate number of executive magistrates at the field level to check the violation of the election code of conduct in the 11th parliamentary polls.
The commission sent a letter yesterday in this regard to the ministry, signed by the commission's Joint Secretary Farhad Ahmed Khan.
The Election Commission asked the ministry to appoint one executive magistrate for every upazila, one for three to four wards of city corporations, one or two magistrates for each district sadar municipality and one magistrate for three to four upazilas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
The commission asked the ministry to keep the magistrates engaged in election duty till the day following the election.
The commission also called for engaging assistant commissioners (land) in the election duty as executive magistrates alongside assistant returning officers.
In the case of absence of an assistant commissioner (land) in any upazila, the commission asked to appoint administrative cadre officials from district or divisional or other offices as executive magistrates in the areas.
Magistrates can take legal action against any candidate or supporter in case of violation of the election code of conduct.