The Election Commission can delay the upcoming parliamentary polls if all political parties want, but there is no scope to defer the announcement of the polls schedule.
“We can delay the next parliamentary election if all political party wants. But we will not delay the declaration of the polls schedule,” chief election commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Monday told reporters while replying to a query at Election Training Institute (ETI) at Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital.
On November 4, the EC decided at a full commission meeting to announce the polls schedule on November 8. The commission wants to hold the polls in the last week of December, EC officials said.
As per the constitution, the next general election must be held by January 28, 2019, he said.
“Oikyafront leaders urged the commission to take cognisance on November 7 dialogue with the Prime Minister. We have taken it into consideration and decided to announce the polls schedule on November 8,” he added.
“The elections should be held in December as different programmes take place in January like Ijtema, and resumption of classes at schools and colleges,” the CEC also said.
Earlier, during the inaugural session of the workshop, the CEC said there is no alternative to the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the elections to protect the voters’ interest.
There are many difficulties in using ballot papers in the elections. The EVM will be launched in the upcoming elections to avoid those difficulties, he said. “There is no scope of vote rigging through using EVM in the next parliamentary polls,” he added.
Opposition alliance Oikyafront has requested the commission to hold the announcement of schedule until the completion of ongoing dialogue programme.
All the opposition parties and alliances have demanded for holding the general election under a nonpartisan government and after dissolution of the parliament ahead of it.