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Tuesday, August 28, 2018 10:40:03 PM
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Nat'l polls by Dec end

EC getting ready to use EVMs in 100 constituencies

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29th-Aug-2018       
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Staff Reporter :
The 11th parliamentary election will be held in the last week of December, the Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said on Tuesday.
The Election Commission is getting ready to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in 100 out of 300 parliamentary constituencies in the next general election, the EC Secretary told newsmen at Nirbachan Bhaban office in the city.
With only a few months left before the national elections, the Election Commission is planning to use electronic voting machines in the polls amid opposition from different political parties, including BNP.
"The 11th national election will be held in the last week of December. There's no possibility to arrange the polls in January as the new academic year of school students will begin at that time. If the election is held at that time, the academic activities of students will be hampered," he said.
The EC Secretary said school students enjoy vacation at the end of December.   About the EVMs, Helaluddin said, "The EC has a plan to use electronic voting machines in the upcoming parliamentary polls. To this end, a proposal has been sent to the Planning Ministry to procure 1.5 lakh EVMs."
"If everything goes well, including legal reform and opinion of political parties, the EC will be able to use EVMs in one-third constituencies in the parliamentary polls," he said.
In the commission's electoral dialogues last year, 35 of the 40 registered parties, including the BNP and its allies, opposed the idea of EVM in the next general election.
The final session of the current Jatiya Sangsad will begin on September 9. On the other hand, the EC has planned to finalise over 40,000 polling stations across the country on September 6.
The Commission has already asked its field-level officials to send lists of possible polling stations to the EC Secretariat after disposing of complaints by August 30.
There may be more than 40,000 polling stations and 200,000 polling booths in all the 300 constituencies against some 104.14 million voters across the country during the next national election to be held in December next, said an official at the EC Secretariat preferring anonymity.
He said election officers working at the district level have already sent the lists of some 40,657 possible polling stations to the EC Secretariat. On August 5, they published the draft polling stations to receive complaints over the polling stations till August 19 and dispose those of by August 30.
As per the EC's roadmap for the 11th general election, the name of polling stations will be published in a gazette notification just 25 days before the polls and the lists of the polling stations will be sent to registered political parties after the announcement of the election schedule. The number of polling stations was 37,707 against 91.96 million voters in the 10 national election held in 2014, while it was 35,263 against some 81 million voters in the 9th national election held in 2008.
The Commission usually fixes a polling station against 2,500 voters on average, Election Commissioner Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury said. Talking about other preparations for the next national election, he said the Commission has already completed the delimitation of constituencies and updated the electoral roll, while the procurement process of election materials continues and the works for the process for legal reform (particularly amendment to the Representation of the People Order) are going on.
About the use of electronic voting machine (EVM) in the election, the Commissioner said they will arrange an EVM fair centrally in Dhaka and regional fairs in the EC's 10 regional offices across the country in September or October next.
All the stakeholders, including political parties, will be invited to attend the EVM displays, and there will be a separate session for political parties at the event, he added.
Besides, the EC needs to reform the RPO to incorporate a provision for the use of EVMs in the national election as well as prepare a new rule in this regard.
As part of the preparation, the EC also issued a public notification inviting new political parties to get registered with it ahead of the 11th national election, though the Commission finally did not award the registration to any party among 76 applicants.
In April, 2018, the Commission completed the delimitation of constituencies redrawing 25 parliamentary constituencies. The 25 constituencies are Nilphamari-3 and 4, Rangpur-1 and 3, Kurigram-3 and 4, Sirajganj-1 and 2, Khulna-3 and 4, Jamalpur-4 and 5, Narayanganj-4 and 5, Sylhet-2 and 3, Moulvibazar-2 and 4, Brahmanbaria-5 and 6, Cumilla-6, 9 and 10, and Noakhali-4 and 5.
Ahead of national election, the Commission will not conduct any voter list updating exercise anymore.

 

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