The election commission (EC) on Thursday announced the schedule for the 11th national elections with voting on 23 December, ignoring reservations from the opposition.
Announcing the election schedule in an address to the nation televised live, the chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda called on all political parties to join the polls for making it competitive, a contest, which, he argued, would ensure free, fair, neutral and credible ballot.
Despite reservation from the mainstream opposition, CEC Huda went on to announce the schedule, making 19 November as the last date for submitting nomination papers.
The last date for scrutiny has been fixed on 22 November and for withdrawal of candidacy on 29 November.
The CEC urged all including political parties to show restraint while contesting the polls and said any issue might be settled through discussion.
He also assured all aspiring parties of creating a level-playing, saying that the election commission would soon issue circular in this regard.
“All parties will get equal opportunities… The law enforcement will be directed strictly not to harrass anyone by means of attacks and filing cases,” CEC Huda said in his address.
The commission will also use electronic voting machines (EVMs), alongside existing methods of using ballot papers, in some urban constituencies. “We’ve noticed enthusiasm about EVMs,” he added.
The CEC mentioned that the commission would deploy 700,000 polling officers and 600,000 members of the law enforcement agencies including the police, RAB, Coast Guard, and Ansar. “Members of the army will be there as aid to civil administration,” he said.