Mohammad Zakaria
The general elections of the 11th parliament are likely to be held on 27 December this year.
The polls schedule will be declared in October this year and poll-time government will be headed by incumbent Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina.
The tenure of the 10th parliament expires on January 28, 2019. The EC has to hold election three months before the end of current parliament to fulfill constitutional obligation.
As per constitution the next government will have to be formed before 24 January, 2019. If elections are held as per schedule the next government may be formed even on 10th January, 2019.
If AL comes out victorious then they might choose 10th January to form the government as it is the home coming day of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The ruling government wants to hold the next general election in free, fair and participatory manner with the participation of BNP and all registered parties.
EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed told reporters after a commission meeting at Nirbachan Bhaban on Tuesday that the polls schedule of next general polls is in late October.
“Field offices have been instructed to prepare updated voter lists before the schedule is declared,” he added.
All the preparations for holding the general election will be completed before announcing the schedule, he informed. Sources said the commission has planned to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in at least single parliamentary seats. The commission is using EVMs in the local government including city corporation polls partially.
The commission has already completed the dialogue with the political parties, civil society, journalists and other stakeholders.
The commission announced roadmap with seven-point agenda including dialogue with political parties, reforming the Representation of the People’s Order (RPO), demarcation of the parliamentary constituencies, voter list updating and use of EVM partially in upcoming national polls.
EC officials said that the commission has almost completed major tasks of holding the next general elections in free, fair and credible manner.
The commission holds major city corporation polls in free, fair and inclusive manner. The commission will hold three major city corporation polls—Rajshahi, Barishal and Sylhet on July 30 before the parliamentary polls. It is learned from a reliable source that BNP will take part in the upcoming general election. But if they come in a split way, Jamaat may take advantage for the un-participated BNP seats though Jamaat cannot come under its party banner. According to political analysts, on January 5, 2014 general election, BNP-Jamaat allies did not take part in the polls and instead resorted to widespread violence across the country.