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Dhaka Tribune

EC: No scope to revise election schedule without application

  • Commission expects over 30 parties to participate in polls
  • No plan to extend nomination deadline
Update : 30 Nov 2023, 09:28 PM

The Election Commission (EC) believes that there is no opportunity to reschedule the election for the BNP and like-minded parties, as none of the representatives of these parties have applied for rescheduling yet, according to EC top brass who spoke to Dhaka Tribune.

The election is set to be held on January 7, and the deadline for submitting nominations is Thursday.

The commission also made it clear that once the deadline for submitting nomination papers ends, the commission will not reconsider rescheduling the election for any party, including the BNP.

"If they [BNP] want to participate in the polls, they must apply for rescheduling by Thursday (today). But we have not received any applications from any party requesting an extension of the nomination deadline or rescheduling," said Election Commissioner Md Alamgir to Dhaka Tribune.

The commission encouraged the parties to file an application, but there was no response from their side, added the commissioner.

Election Commission Secretary and spokesperson Md Jahangir Alam also informed this reporter: "No meeting or decision has been made regarding the extension of the nomination submission deadline or rescheduling. So, the poll program will be completed within the constitutional time frame as announced."

The EC expects over 30 parties to participate in the polls.

Dhaka Tribune has learned that at least 26 registered political parties have sent letters to the commission expressing their intent to participate in the elections.

Among the 44 registered political parties, Bangladesh Kalyan Party (a part of the BNP-led alliance), a section of Islami Oikya Jote, a section of Gana Forum, and Bangladesh Muslim League have made their intentions known through these letters.

However, the commission still does not have specific information about the participation of 18 registered political parties, including the BNP and Islami Andolan Bangladesh.

Election Commission Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath said around 30 political parties have informed the EC in writing about their participation in the elections.

The actual figure will be revealed after the deadline for the submission of nomination papers ends, he added.

According to sources, a total of 180 nominations have been distributed in 20 constituencies in Dhaka, and 24 had been distributed and 15 submitted in Comilla as of yesterday.

However, 270 candidates have submitted nomination papers online.

According to the EC's announced schedule, the scrutiny of nomination papers will be conducted from December 1 to 4, and the final date for withdrawing candidacy is December 17. The returning officers will allot the symbols on December 18, and candidates can campaign until 8 am on January 5.

Writ against election schedule

Supreme Court lawyer Yunus Ali Akand filed a writ in the High Court yesterday challenging the schedule announced by the Election Commission and questioning the validity of the January 7 parliamentary elections, especially when parliament is in session.

Seven individuals, including the chief election commissioner, have been named as defendants in the writ.

On Tuesday, the lawyer sent a legal notice to the chief election commissioner and others, demanding the postponement of the 12th national parliamentary election. The notice referred to Article 123 of the Constitution, which provides an opportunity to postpone the election.

The legal notice called for the postponement of the announced schedule, citing the absence of major political parties in the election and pressure from foreigners.

When asked about the notice, members of the EC declined to comment on it.

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