COX’S BAZAR | 5:45 PM (BDT) Bangladesh officials say plans to begin repatriating more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar have been scrapped after officials failed to find any who wanted to go. Refugee Commissioner Abul Kalam told media on Thursday that the refugees “are not willing to go back now,” adding that officials…
The Bangladesh Election Commission rescheduled the 11th parliamentary election fixing the last date of nomination paper submission on November 28 and the polls date on December 30.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda announced the new schedule while addressing as the chief guest the inaugural function of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) display at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka this morning.
“It is a matter pleasure that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Jukta Front and other political parties have decided to participate in the Jatiya Sangsad polls — so the Election Commission has revised the polls schedule,” Huda said.
The CEC said: “We were waiting for all the political parties to participate in the polls and believed that we would be able to hold a well–accepted election with the participation of all the political parties.”
“Now I will disclose here only the nomination paper submission and voting dates and other changes will be disclosed by Tuesday following a meeting at the EC,” the CEC added.
Earlier, the CEC declared the polls schedule on Thursday by announcing the last date of nomination paper submission on November 19, the date for nomination paper scrutiny on November 22, the date for nomination paper withdrawal on November 29 and polls date on December 23.
Brigadier General Saidul Islam said, “We suspended the use of the device in 2011 as the then EVM device had no biometric verification option.” The launching of the EVM device will check any kind of vote rigging including snatching of ballot boxes as it is protected by password and finger prints, said Islam who is Director General of the Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA) Project under the Election Commission
Regarding the introducing of the EVM in the election, Huda said the EC had tried to introduce it since 2008, but it had many shortcomings, adding that “now we are confident to use this device.”
Chaired by EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed, the function was also addressed by Election Commissioners Mahbub Talukder, Dr M Rafiqul Islam and Begum Kabita Khanam as the special guests. Terming the use of the EVM as time–befitting, EC’s additional secretary Mokhlesur Rahman said the devise is usually not connected with the internet, so there is no possibility of hacking the machine from outside. “The device already has been displayed in the development fair October 4–6 across the country and huge response was received in favour of using it,” said Rahman in his welcome address.
Talking about the advantage of the device, Brigadier General Saidul Islam said, “We suspended the use of the device in 2011 as the then EVM device had no biometric verification option.” The launching of the EVM device will check any kind of vote rigging including snatching of ballot boxes as it is protected by password and finger prints, said Islam who is Director General of the Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA) Project under the Election Commission. Election Commission high officials, representatives from different government and non–government organisations were present. ■