EC approves over 200 foreign poll observers

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News Desk :
More than 200 foreign observers will oversee the 12th general elections this year on Jan 7, Election Commission’s Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath said.

The commission approved applications from a total of 186 foreign observers and journalists until Wednesday noon. Among them, 127 are observers and 59 are media workers, reports bdnews24.com.

The applications submitted by some other foreign observers are still in process, Ashok said, stating the tally will reach over 200.

In the group of foreign observers, four members are from the European Union, 12 from the US-based International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), six from the South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), two each from Africa’s SNAS, Nepal’s Muslim Commission and UK’s Africa House; one each from North Korea’s HL Group, US’s Birnie Law Office, UK’s Be Strategic Partner, Japan’s International Development Cooperation Organisation and Mustache Create Research, and India’s Election Monitoring Forum. They include a Sri Lankan Parliament member, an Australian researcher, and a US citizen from the Election Monitoring Forum amongst many others, according to the EC’s public relations wing.

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Among the 59 journalists, one each will come from Germany’s Junge Freiheit, Japan’s The Yomiuri Shimbun and Kyodo News, India’s Aajkaal and Kolkata-based Bangla daily the Anandabazar Patrika, two from The Delhi Television Ltd, three from The Associated Press, India and two others from The Press Trust of India, and two from German broadcaster ARD, amongst others.

The parliamentary election will be held on Jan 7. The commission approved another group of 20,773 local observers to monitor the polls. Among them, 517 from 40 election monitoring forums will centrally observe the election while 20,256 others will observe from local 84 forums.

A total of 1,970 candidates are contesting the upcoming polls from 28 political parties and as independent aspirants, the EC additional secretary said.

The commission will brief the local and foreign observers on Jan 6.

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