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EC plans to hold 11th general election in last week of December

  • Published at 04:24 pm August 28th, 2018
File photo of a woman putting her ballot paper in a ballot box after casting her vote Dhaka Tribune

The commission says it has completed more than 80% of its preparations for holding the polls

The 11th national election will be held in the last week of December according to Election Commission Secretary, Helal Uddin Ahmed.

“There is no chance of holding the polls in January. It will be held by the end of this year,” he told reporters at the commission’s Agargaon office in Dhaka on Tuesday.

But the exact date is yet to be fixed, he added.

Helal said: “We want to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) at the polling centers of one-third of the 300 constituencies during the polls if the proposed amendment to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) is approved and the political parties agree.”

After the bill is passed, the commission will engage in dialogue with political parties about the issue, he said.

The secretary said holding the election in January would hamper the studies of students as the new academic year of schools will begin at that time. Since there is a vacation in the last week of December, the election will be held at that time, he added.

Helal said the commission was done with more than 80% of its preparations for holding the polls.

He said they have sent a proposal to the Planning Ministry to buy 150,000 EVMs to use for the elections.

The commission is scheduled to sit on August 30 again to decide on the RPO amendment in order to include the use of EVMs in the polls.

Then proposals about the amendment will be sent to the Law Ministry for vetting, Helal said. The ministry will place them in parliament for passage after thorough scrutiny.

He said the EVMs will be used in upazila polls, scheduled to be held after the national polls.