The 11th parliamentary election will be held on December 23 this year, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Thursday announced.
In a televised address to the nation at 7:00pm, the CEC declared the polls schedule for the upcoming general elections.
The last day for filing nomination papers is November 19 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 29. The returning officers will scrutinise the nomination papers on November 22.
The sales of nomination papers will start from Friday at the offices of all returning officers and assistant returning officers across the country, according to EC.
In his speech, the CEC said the commission had already completed all preparations to hold the next polls in line with the constitution. The EC has informed the President of the country about the overall election preparation for the upcoming polls.
“According to the constitution, we have to hold the polls by January 28, 2019,” said the CEC.
He urged all political parties to participate in the polls for holding it in a free, fair and festive manner. The commission wants participatory polls in the country. The commission will ensure level playing field for all candidates through applying the electoral code of conduct during the polls.
The EC has appointed seven lakhs election officials, six lakhs personnel of the law enforcement agencies like—police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Ansar and VDP.
The commission will deploy armed forces as aid to the civil power, he said, adding that army would be deployed to hold a free, fair and unbiased election and ensure the safety of the voters and election officials. The commission will also deploy executive and judicial magistrates for maintaining law and order.
The commission had started 7-point roadmap including reformation of electoral law, demarcation of the parliamentary constituencies, voter list updating, dialogue, training for the officials and others, he also said.
“We have completed the roadmap successfully for holding it in a free and fair manner,” he added.
The commission has prepared around 40,000 polling stations. The EC will use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in a limited scale in the polls as it got success using it in the last couple of local body elections, the CEC said.
Candidates can buy and submit their nomination paper through online and EC officials can send the election result through latest software to the EC, he also said.
Nurul Huda urged all including voters, political parties, candidates, supporters and activists to help the commission for holding a free, fair and credible election to form a new government.
“If any political party does not reach any consensus on any issues, they should solve it themselves,” he said.
Political parties have already held talks with the Prime Minister before the polls, he said.
Huda warned that any election official and personnel of the law enforcement agencies failing to remain impartial during the polls would face legal actions as per the laws.
“I can assure the voters that we will do everything needed to enable you to reach the polling stations without fear and return home safefely,” said Huda.
He urged mass media and election observers to monitor and publish authentic news to the nation which will also help the EC.
Nurul Huda urged assistance from all for holding the election in a free, fair and peaceful manner.