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No way to defer polls: EC

15 Nov,2018

BDchronicle:

Election Commission today decided that it will not defer the 11th parliamentary election anymore.

The EC made the decision at a meeting this afternoon following Jatiya OikyafrontÕs demand for deferral of the election date by three weeks.

There is no way to defer the election date as it is not logical and realistic considering several aspects,Ó Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed told journalists after the meeting.

Yesterday, Oikyafront, an alliance of BNP and several other parties, sat with the EC and placed their demands including the polls deferral.

The election will be held as per the revised schedule (December 30),Ó the EC secretary said arguing that there are several legal and constitutional aspects which require much time, therefore, it will not be possible to defer the elections any further.

By-elections, gazette notification of the elected candidates, oath-taking of MPs are some of the time-consuming factors which have to be completed within the stipulated time (90 days from the announcement of the polls schedule), he also said.

Moreover, Biswa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of the Muslim community after the holy hajj, will be held in two phases in January and a huge number of law enforcers will be deployed there, he added in support of sticking to the polls schedule.

OIKYAFRONT FOR DEFERRAL, AL WANTS EC TO STICK TO SCHEDULE

Jatiya Oikyafront yesterday demanded that the Election Commission defer the election, set for December 30, by three more weeks. But the ruling Awami League termed the proposal illogical and urged the commission to stick to its schedule.

The new opposition alliance placed the demand at a meeting with the EC at the EC secretariat in the capital.

WHEN IS THE ELECTION?

Election Commission has revised polls schedule, deferring the 11th general election by a week to December 30 – a decision taken earlier this week.

The authorities have fixed November 28 as the deadline for filing nomination papers, December 2 for scrutiny and December 9 last date of withdrawal.

The move came following demands from several opposition political parties.

IS EVERYONE PARTICIPATING?

Chief Election Commissioner has said that there is a congenial atmosphere in the country – echoing the words of the ruling party.

However, major opposition alliances like the Jatiya Oikyafront, which includes BNP, and the Bikalpa Dhara-led Juktafront have sought for delaying the schedule.

Until thus far, it seems that the coming parliamentary election will not be the Ònon-participatory electionÓ that was its predecessor.

All the major political parties are gearing up to contest in the election and there have been no threats of a boycott or withdrawal unlike the last time.

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