No way to delay national election, says EC Secy 

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Dhaka, November 15: Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed on Thursday said there is no scope to push back the national election as there is no logic to do so.“The 11th parliamentary elections will be held on December 30 as per the declared schedule. After examining the demand of Jatiya Oikyafront for delaying the polls by three weeks, it seemed to the EC that the demand is neither logical nor practical,” he said, UNB reports.

The secretary said this while speaking at a press briefing at the media centre of the Election Commission.

Earlier, an hour-long meeting was held at the EC from 11am to 12 pm chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nurul Huda. Other commissioners were present at the meeting.

Helal Uddin said the Oikyafront leaders placed their several demands, including the election deferment by three weeks, during their meeting with the EC on Wednesday. “Today’s meeting was arranged to review their demands and the decision was taken after thoroughly analysing those.”

There are a number of legal and constitutional issues, including holding re-election and by-election, investigating irregularities in voting, publishing gazette and administering oath to the newly elected MPs, that need to be settled in January, he said. “So, there’s no scope to defer the election schedule.”

Mentioning that the Biswa Ijtema will also be held in the second and third weeks of January, the EC secretary said almost 30-40 million devotees will take part in the two-phase annual congregation of Tablig Jamaat when huge law enforces will remain deployed to ensure their security. “So, the EC made the decision after considering all aspects.”

Responding to a query about foreign election observers, Helal Uddin said they are always welcome.

About his remarks made in the morning that members of Army and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will be deployed in the election areas two to 10 days before the 11th national election, he said he actually wanted to mean that assistant returning officers will arrange accommodation for army from 10 days before the polls.

He also said the Commission is yet to decide when the army will be deployed.