Journalists may take photos and carry mobile phones inside the booths
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Saturday said the media will not be allowed to telecast live video from inside polling booths during the December 30 general election.
However, journalists will be allowed to take photos and can carry their mobile phones inside the polling booths. The use of mobile phones to have conversations inside the polling booths is strictly prohibited.
Furthermore, the shooting of video, photos and the carrying of mobile phones inside the curtained off section of the booth where voters will cast their ballots is also prohibited.
The chief election commissioner issued the directives during a press briefing at the Election Commission office in Agargaon, Dhaka. Election Commissioners Mahbub Talukder, Kabita Khanam, and Brig General (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury were present.
According to the CEC, the directives were issued to ensure the work of polling officers inside the booths would not be interrupted.
KM Nurul Huda further said journalists would only be allowed to stay inside polling centres for a limited amount of time, and would only be allowed to enter polling booths in limited numbers. The presiding officer at the polling centre concerned will determine how many journalists may enter the booth at a time.
He added that the code of conduct for journalists and observers would be aired on various television channels next week.
The commission is yet to take decision on the law enforcement agencies’ proposals to slow down internet and stop mobile banking during the voting period, the CEC also said.
Regarding the authority of armed forces deployed during the election, KM Nurul Huda said they can arrest trouble makers as per the Code of Criminal Procedure if the situation worsens.