B’desh to hold general elections on Dec 23

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Nov 9 (ANI): Bangladesh will hold parliamentary elections on December 23, the country's Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda announced on Thursday. Addressing a presser here, Huda was quoted by The Dhaka Tribune as saying, "The proper environment to organise the polls has been created (so) I urge all political parties to resolve all disputes or differences of opinions among themselves and participate in the polls. I also urge the political parties to remain alert so that competition and rivalry do not turn into retribution or violence." Candidates wishing to stand in the general elections must file their nomination papers, either online or manually, between November 8 and November 19. On November 22, the nomination papers will be scrutinised by the returning officers. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 29. "There is a constitutional obligation to hold the election before January 28, 2019. The countdown has already started," Huda said. He added that all necessary election-related materials have been brought and the election commission has finished printing papers. Huda underscored that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would be used in a "small number of randomly selected voting centres" in the urban electoral constituencies, as per the report. The Chief Election Commissioner said that the voters were apprised about the benefits of using EVMs while expressing hope that its usage would save man hours, time and money drastically. Huda further said that the commission is planning to install around 1,50,000 EVMs in at least 100 randomly selected constituencies across Bangladesh for the general elections. He stated that more than 600,000 security personnel from police, Border Guard Bangladesh, Rapid Action Battalion, Coast Guard, Ansar and Village Defence Party, would be deployed at polling stations to ensure a free and fair voting process and no untoward incidents occur during the polls. Almost 104.2 million registered voters will cast their votes in about 40,000 polling stations to elect 300 representatives to the Bangladesh Parliament. Polling would be held as per the stipulated date, despite former Bangladesh prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia serving a jail sentence over charges of corruption. (ANI)

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