Electoral stuff sent to 13 districts

News Desk :
The Election Commission has begun sending out ballot papers for the 12th national parliamentary election from Dhaka to the district level, with two weeks remaining before the polls.

Ballot papers, postal ballot papers, forms related to postal ballots, and stamp pads were sent out to 52 constituencies in 13 districts in the first phase of the initiative from three printing presses in Dhaka on Monday, reports bdnews24.com

The process of sending out ballot papers from the capital will continue until December. The ballot papers will be secured by police at the treasury of the deputy commissioners. They will be sent to polling centres on the morning of election day.

The EC has started distributing ballot papers early after considering the distances involved in the process, Md Shahjalal, senior assistant secretary of the Election Commission, told reporters in front of the government printing press in Tejgaon.

“The Bandarban and Rangamati districts are far away. It takes a lot of time to send ballot papers to these districts, which must be sent by helicopter. Considering this, we are sending them to remote areas first.”

On the first day of the initiative, the materials were sent from the Government Printing Press in Dhaka to the Panchagarh, Gaibandha, Meherpur, Kushtia, Magura and Rangamati districts; from BG press to Jaipurhat, Chapainawabganj, Jhalkathi and Bhola from BG Press, and from Security Printing Press to Barguna, Patuakhali and Netrakona districts.

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Twenty-seven parties, including the ruling Awami League and the Jatiya Party, are campaigning for the polls, but the BNP and like-minded opposition parties have called for an election boycott and a non-cooperation movement. Since Oct 28, the BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and other parties have staged shutdowns and transport blockades. Several instances of sabotage and vandalism have occurred amid the anti-government campaign’s programmes.

Although there is political unrest, EC official Shahjalal said he does not see any risk in sending electoral materials to the districts.
He said, “An executive magistrate from the concerned district, an Election Commission official and the police will accompany them. Mobile teams will also be present to provide security.”

The EC plans to complete the printing of ballot papers by Dec 31 while keeping in mind the different cases over candidacies that are still pending. After that, the EC will announce when the voting materials will be sent to each district.

Ballot papers equal to the number of voters in a constituency are to be printed with the names and symbols of the contesting candidates.

More than 119.6 million voters can cast their ballots in the 300 constituencies during the general election. Some 1,900 candidates are contesting the polls.