Election to be held on 7 January

Chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal unveils the election schedule at a televised speech on 15 November 2023.Screengrab BTV video

The voting to the 12th parliamentary election will be held on 7 January next year.

Chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal announced the date while unveiling the election schedule during a televised speech on Wednesday evening.

State-run Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar aired his speech, beginning at 7:00am

According to the election schedule of the 12th parliamentary election, the last day of submitting nomination is 30 November while the nomination will be scrutinised on 1-4 December and candidates will have until 17 December to withdraw their candidature.

The election commission will distribute symbols on 18 December.

The CEC announced the polls schedule amid violent political situation when political parties are yet to reach a consensus on the formation of a poll-time government.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) already declared it will not join the next election under this incumbent Awami League government.

Besides, BNP and like-minded parties have been enforcing shutdown (hartal) and blockades demanding the resignation of the government.

The CEC announced the polls schedule of the 12th parliamentary election as per the decision of the election in reference to the Article 123(3)(a) of Constitution.

Prior to the CEC’s speech, election commissioners led by the CEC held a meeting at the Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital’s Agargaon at 5:00pm where the polls schedule was finalised.

Voting to the 11th parliamentary election was held on 30 December 2018.

As per the constitution, a general election must be held within ninety days prior to the expiration of the running parliament.

The election commission published the final voter list on 2 November. There are 119,691,633 voters in the 12th parliamentary election. Of them, 60,771,579 are male; 58,919,202 are female and 852 were hijra voters.

BNP, other political parties and alliances that have been waging a simultaneous movement, have also been threatening to launch a tougher movement if the election commission announces the polls schedule.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the US called three major political parties of Bangladesh to sit for dialogue without any pre-conditions. The US assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu issued the letter.

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BNP and Jatiya Party received the letter previously while Awami League got it today, Wednesday.

Upon receiving the letter, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader, however, said, “There is no more scope of dialogue now.”

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