The Election Commission will announce the schedule for the next parliamentary election on November 8.
The decision came at a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair. Four other election commissioners, EC secretary and some high officials of the EC were present.
“The Commission had earlier decided to announce the election schedule on November 4 [yesterday]. But we have now decided to unveil it on November 8, considering the overall situation,” said Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury while briefing journalists after the meeting at the Nirbachon Bhaban.
The CEC will announce the schedule in an address to the nation through Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar in the evening of November 8, he added.
Asked about the polling day, Shahadat said election would be held within 45 days from announcement of the schedule.
Therefore, the 11th parliamentary election is likely to be held between December 20 and December 23, said sources at the EC.
On November 3, the Jatiya Oikyafront, an alliance formed recently by the BNP, Gonoforum, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Nagorik Oikya and Forward Party, wrote to the CEC not to announce the polls schedule until the end of the ongoing talks that began on November 1.
On November 1, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led a 23-member delegation of the Awami League-led 14-party alliance, while Oikyafront leader Dr Kamal Hossain led a 20-member team in a discussion that focused on reaching a consensus over holding the next general election in a fair, credible and inclusive manner.
Although the talks were held in a congenial atmosphere, the PM gave no assurance that the government would meet the Oikyafront's demands, meeting sources said.
RULES FOR EVM USE
At yesterday's briefing, Shahadat said they had finalised the rules for using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the upcoming general election.
About the use of EVMs, he said the EVMs would be used on a limited scale in the polling centres in urban areas.
The EC yesterday finalised the rules for filing nomination papers online, the election commissioner added.