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11th general election: Campaigning officially over

  • Published at 10:09 am December 28th, 2018
campaign poster
Campaign posters cover a road in Gopalganj. The photo was taken on December 11, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

Electioneering began on December 10, as soon as symbols had been allocated

Election campaigning, by all political parties and their candidates, has come to an end—48 hours before voting for the 11th parliamentary election begins on Sunday morning.

The restriction on electioneering came into effect at 8am, on Friday morning, as per the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 1972, reports UNB.

Article 78 (1) of the RPO stipulates: “None shall convene, hold or attend any public meeting, promote or join in any procession within the area of any constituency during the period beginning at forty eight hours prior to start of the poll and ending at forty-eight hours after conclusion of the poll for any election in that constituency.”

Casting votes for the election will begin at 8am on Sunday and continue until 4pm, without interruption.

No public meeting or procession will be allowed till Tuesday at midnight, 48 hours after the end of the balloting.

The Election Commission has already sent its directives to all returning officers and authorities concerned to take necessary measures, so that no one can conduct campaigns after 8am on Friday, said Election Commission Additional Secretary Mokhlesur Rahman on Thursday.

The official election campaign by political parties and their candidates began on December 10, right after electoral symbols were allocated to the contestants.

A total of 103,826,819 voters —52,371,616 male and 51,455,203 female —will be allowed to exercise their franchise in 299 constituencies out of 300 across the country.

The Commission has postponed the election of Gaibandha 3 constituency following the death of the Jatiya Oikya Front candidate.

Over 1,800 candidates are running for election, belonging to 39 registered political parties. However, the exact number of contesting candidates was not available at the Election Commission Secretariat as of Thursday evening.

As per the draft list, there are 1,849 candidates contesting the electoral race—1,748 nominated by political parties and 101 independent, he said.

The Commission has already determined there will be 40,051 polling stations with 205,691 booths for the 299 constituencies. As per the police reports sent to them, 64% of polling stations have been designated “important” across the country.

Out of 299 constituencies, electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in six—Dhaka 6 and 13, Chittagong 9, Rangpur 3, Khulna 2 and Satkhira 2—instead of traditional ballot papers.

The Election Commission held mock voting  on EVMs, in the six constituencies, on Thursday, as part of the preparations to use the machines in the constituencies for the first time for a general election.

A total of 2,124,554 voters will be allowed to cast votes using EVMs in the six constituencies.

The Election Commission sent a letter to the Bangladesh Bank on Thursday, seeking a stoppage of mobile and postal money banking transactions, from 5pm on Friday to 5pm on Sunday, to prevent illegal transactions during the election.

As per the Commission’s directives, the government has already imposed ban on unauthorised motorcycles plying the streets from Friday at midnight; and other vehicles from Saturday at midnight.