No major obstacles to holding elections so far: EC Secy

The Election Commission held a meeting with top officials of various law enforcement agencies Monday
Courtesy of Election Commission

There are no major obstacles to holding the elections so far, said election commission (EC) secretary Md Jahangir Alam on Monday.

The EC held a meeting with top officials of different law enforcement agencies over the law and order situation ahead of the 12th parliamentary election on Monday. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Habibul Awal chaired the meeting at the Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital’s Agargaon.

The EC secretary briefed the newspersons after the meeting.

As per the reports of the intelligence agencies, there is no major hurdle in organising the 12th general elections so far. However, they are on high alert to avert any unwarranted situation centering the Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) three-day blockade following their strike on Monday.

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Speaking regarding the agenda of the meeting, the EC secretary said various issues regarding election and security came up during the meeting, including ensuring a peaceful environment during the pre-election, election-time and post-election periods and the methods to be adopted by the law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order.

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There would be many more meetings before the polls, he added.

The EC secretary also informed the media that different intelligence agencies shared security-related information in the meeting.

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The chiefs of different law enforcement agencies highlighted how they had deployed their forces at polling centres across the country in the past and how to discharge their duties during the 12th parliamentary elections.

Following their statements, the CEC gave some directives in the meeting. A notification will be issued with more specific directives regarding the deployment of law enforcement agencies based on the directives given by the CEC in the meeting.

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Highlighting the discussion over law and order in the meeting, secretary Md Jahangir Alam said the meeting was held in presence of top law enforcement agency officials, senior secretary of the Public Security Division, representatives of the staff officer of the Armed Forces Division and other relevant officials to determine a course of action for maintain law and order.

In response to a query, the EC secretary said the decision whether the ballot papers will be sent to polling centres the night before election or in the morning of the election day will be taken later.

The law enforcement officials informed the CEC about the law and order situation at the moment during the meeting.

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The EC secretary said, “A major political party has announced an all-out blockade for three days after holding a strike on Sunday. The law enforcement officials shared their observation over this with the CEC. They will be sharing their observations in the upcoming days as well. Decisions will be made based on their observations then. Based on the law enforcement agency reports, the EC feels that the situation is satisfactory now.”

Representatives from the home ministry, police, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), armed forces, Ansar VDP, Bangladesh Coast Guard and top intelligence officials took part in the meeting.

Election commissioners Md Ahsan Habib Khan, Rashida Sultana, Md Alamgir and Md Anisur Rahman were also present in the meeting chaired by the CEC.