• Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:08 am

EC goes to four countries for expat voters' registration

  • Published at 11:04 pm October 19th, 2019

As part of enrolling the expatriates in the Bangladeshi electoral roll, the commission earlier sent its team to Singapore to make them voters as a pilot project

The Election Commission has planned to send its teams to four countries -- Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), and the United Kingdom (UK) in order to enroll Bangladeshi voters.

As part of enrolling the expatriates in the Bangladeshi electoral roll, the commission earlier sent its team to Singapore to make them voters as a pilot project, the officials said.

They said the Election Commission took all sorts of preparation to initiate the enrolment process by visiting Singapore in last September, but failed to send its team due to no green signal from its government.

Since the Singaporean government is yet to give permission, the commission planned to start the voter registration process in four other countries as soon as possible, reports UNB.

Director General of the commission's National Identity Registration Wing Brig Gen Saidul Islam said: “We are fully ready to send our teams to Singapore following the permission from its government. As for now, we have taken a plan to go to four other countries – Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the UAE, and the UK.”

“We will go to the four countries within 15 days,” he hoped adding that they have a target to go to 50 countries across the world by 2020 to register the expatriates in Bangladeshi voter list.

The commission will first arrange videoconferences with Bangladesh missions in the four countries before opening the process for submitting application form online by the expatriates, Saidul said.

The Bangladeshis staying in other countries will be able to be voters going to countries where the commission is set to open desks to enroll them as voters, Saidul furthered.

The expatriates, willing to be voters, will have to fill the online application forms first. Then the NID Wing will send the application forms to the upazila election offices concerned to verify the data given in the forms to particularly keep foreign nationals, including Rohingyas, out of the voter list.

Following the data verification, the commission will send its teams to the four countries to collect biometrics – fingerprint and iris-- of the expatriates. The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) will be used in the NID server to prevent the duplicity of voters. Also, the authenticated voters will be incorporated in the NID central server.

On completion of the process, the commission will deliver the smart NID cards to the expatriates through Bangladesh missions in the foreign lands, said officials at the NID wing.

The expatriates will be able to fill online application form from any place. Besides, the commission will set up helpdesk in the missions to provide assistance over filling up the forms.

Meanwhile, about 10 million expatriate Bangladeshis are now living in 165 countries of the world.

Since 1976 to 2019 (till September) a total of 12.7 million Bangladeshis went abroad for jobs, according to the statistics of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET).

The major countries having larger number of Bangladeshis include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, Kuwait, and Bahrain.