EC offices to be set up in several countries
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has said that the Election Commission plans to introduce a voter registration system for Bangladeshis living abroad.
The CEC said the commission will set up offices in several countries, including Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, UK, USA, Italy, Australia, and Canada, which have sizeable populations of Bangladeshi expatriates.
Nurul Huda said this at the opening session of a two-day international conference, titled “Making Our Elections Inclusive and Accessible”, in New Delhi, India on Thursday.
The Election Commission of India has organized the conference marking National Voters' Day on January 25.
Over 10 million Bangladeshis live in 157 countries and many of the expatriates have failed to enroll in the voter list at home and do not have national identification (NID) cards, said the CEC.
He said technical and non-technical teams of experts will visit the countries to conduct a feasibility study.
Besides Bangladesh, top election commission officials from Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Kazakstan and Russia are participating in the event.
Representatives from several international organizations are also taking part.
Chief Election Commissioner of India Sunil Arora delivered the keynote address at the opening session.
In his first foreign visit after the successful holding of Bangladesh's 11th parliamentary election on December 30, CEC Huda said the polls have been inclusive, with all registered political parties taking part.
The elections were free, fair and peaceful, with more than 25,000 local observers from 81 organizations and 160 international monitors freely watching the voting, according to the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
Huda said the Election Commission focused on young voters, encouraging their enrollment through SMS, TVCs, radio, posters and leaflets. Voters' awareness program has also been included in the primary and secondary level curricula.