The schedule for the next parliamentary polls will be announced any date after October 30, Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said today.
“Countdown for the next election will start from October 30 as the schedule for the 11th parliamentary election will be announced any date after October 30,” the EC secretary said while talking to reporters at his office at Nirbachon Bhaban in the capital.
He also said 80 percent works of the election preparation have already been completed and the rest work will be done after the announcement of the election schedule.
“We have already completed demarcation of 300 constituencies, prepared voter list having 10.41 crore voters which will be sent to all districts and upazilas within September 25 in CD [compact disc form],” said the EC secretary.
He also said the draft list of around 40,199 polling stations has been published. Names of polling stations will be published through gazette notification before 25 days of the election date, he added.
In reply to a query, the EC secretary informed that around seven lakh polling officials will be required to conduct the election in around 2.6 lakh polling booths.
Asked why EC is maintaining secrecy and not making clear about bringingamendment to the Representation of the People Order, Helaluddin said there is nothing secrecy in bringing change in the RPO.
“We have sent proposals to the Law Ministry for vetting regarding bringing change in the RPO. After the law ministry’s vetting, it will be sent to the cabinet for approval and then a bill will be placed in parliament for passage.
Everyone will be able to know after that [passage of the bill in parliament].”
He also added: “There is no rule that everything will have to be informed in advance.”
Amid strong opposition from one election commissioner, the EC at a meeting on August 30 decided to send a proposal to the government for amending the RPO so it can use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the upcoming national polls.
Mahbub Talukder, one of the five election commissioners, walked out of the meeting within 20 minutes, giving a note of dissent on the EC's move.
In the August 30 meeting, EC also decided to send seven to eight other proposals to the government for bringing change in the RPO apart from using EVMs.
But EC is yet to disclose about those changes saying “those are not significant.”