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EC secretary: National polls schedule in late October

  • Published at 09:42 am July 10th, 2018
  • Last updated at 08:06 pm July 10th, 2018
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File photo of the Election Commission office in Dhaka Dhaka Tribune

The voter list will also be updated before the schedule is declared

The schedule of the 11th parliamentary election will be announced by the end of October, Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed has confirmed again.

The decision was taken at a commission meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Tuesday, he told reporters at the commission's office in Agargaon, Dhaka.

He said the voter list would be updated before the schedule is declared, adding: “Mid-level officers have already been instructed to store all the information of the voters in compact discs (CDs).”

The secretary said the National Voter Day will also be observed on March 1 from next year.

Regarding the upcoming city corporation elections, he said: “Electronic voting machines will be used at 10 polling centres in Barisal, and two centres in Sylhet and Rajshahi each.”

The elections to these three city corporations are slated for July 30.

EC won’t go door to door to update voter list

Even though every year the Election Commission updated the voter list by going door to door across the country, this year it has decided not to do that, Helaluddin said.

“The commission will be very busy with the preparations for the next general election. So it will not be possible for us to go door to door and update the voter list,” he said.

Rather, he said, people could come to the Election Commission office and become voters by submitting necessary documents. “It’s a continuous process and it will not breach any law.” 

Transgender people to be included in the list

The Election Commission secretary on Tuesday also said that the commission has decided to include people from the transgender community as third gender in the voter list next year.

Although the government recognized the hijras or transgender people as a third gender in January 2014, they are yet to receive their right to vote in Bangladesh. The commission’s latest decision means they would not be able vote in the upcoming national polls.

Helaluddin said their decision has come as a response to the long-time demand of transgender people. “They will be included in the voter list as people of third gender next year when the updating of the list will take place.”

However, he said those from the transgender community who were already in the existing voter list identified as either male or female would be able to exercise their franchise in the elections.

“If they want, they will also be able to change their gender in the list to third gender when we update it,” he added.

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