NDI, EU, Commonwealth want to observe polls
EC secretary highlights readiness of commission
CEC’s determination to conduct election on time
Election Commission (EC) Secretary Md Jahangir Alam said that all necessary preparations have been completed, creating an environment conducive to the announcement of the schedule for the 12th national parliamentary election.
Speaking at a press briefing in his office at the Election Commission on Wednesday, he informed journalists that the election schedule would be officially unveiled next week.
The EC secretary emphasized the comprehensive readiness of the commission, echoing the determination expressed by the chief election commissioner (CEC) to conduct the election within the designated timeframe.
Jahangir Alam said that elections should be organized within the stipulated time as per the constitution. As per custom, before announcing the schedule, the commission had a courtesy call on the president. In continuation of this, the meeting is scheduled for Thursday.
He said that he would update the president on all progress related to election preparations. The commission is open to receiving the president’s suggestions and instructions regarding the preparations.
However, he clarified that the sole authority to declare the election schedule lies with the Election Commission, and as of now, the specific date for this announcement has not been finalized.
The EC secretary also mentioned that the commission has consistently mentioned the possibility of the schedule being announced in the second half of November. Consequently, the election might be conducted either in the last week of December or the first week of January.
Regarding foreign observers, Jahangir said that three organizations — NDI, EU, and Commonwealth — have confirmed their intention to observe the elections. One of these institutions from the United States has conducted a pre-assessment. The EU has expressed its interest, and most recently, a team from the Commonwealth has requested a meeting with the EC.
The application deadline for foreign observers is November 21. After coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ designated cell, the commission will have detailed information about the number of observers expected.
When asked about the specific timing of the schedule announcement next week, the EC secretary mentioned that the commission will make that decision internally and then inform the media. He assured that all preparations by the Election Commission are progressing smoothly, including the gradual distribution of election materials to the districts.
In terms of law and order, the secretary noted that the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued timely circulars. A law and order meeting has already been held to ensure necessary measures are in place. An ample number of law enforcement officers will be deployed on the ground.
The Ministry of Home Affairs will issue further instructions to guarantee a smooth voting process for the voters, and they will act accordingly.
He also mentioned that steps have been taken to address irregularities in the Laksmipur and Brahmanbaria by-elections.
Source: Dhaka Tribune.