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EC approves Tk700cr budget for 11th general election

  • Published at 11:51 am October 15th, 2018
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Election commission’s Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed addresses a press briefing at its office in Dhaka’s Agargaon on Monday, October 15, 2018 Dhaka tribune

The schedule for the polls will be issued after October 30

The Election Commission has approved a Tk700-crore budget to organize the 11th general election.

The commission’s Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said the approval came on Monday during a meeting of the commission at its office in Dhaka’s Agargaon.

Briefing the reporters after the meeting, he also said that the schedule for the upcoming national polls will be issued after October 30.

He said the commissioners were briefed on all the preparations that were underway for the election.

“We have already collected some necessary materials. The other materials will be gathered by the end of October,” he said, adding that the ballot boxes and papers were ready.

Helal said, as part of the election preparation, the Representation of People Order (RPO) was amended and sent to the government further vetting. “Once the government approves it, the Election Commission will consider using EVMs [electronic voting machines] in the polls.” 

Monday’s meeting was held in two phases. However, just seven minutes into the meeting, Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder once again had walked out in the morning.

Commission sources said that Mahbub had wanted to table a five-point proposal for a free and fair election. But as he was not given the floor, the commissioner left the meeting after submitting a note of dissent.

Asked about the matter, commission Secretary Helal told reporters: “There was a difference of opinion. The issues he raised in the meeting were not in the agenda. That’s why no one discussed it, which led to his walk out.”

This was not the first time Mahbub walked out of a congregation of the commission.

He also left a meeting on August 30 by submitting a note of dissent, opposing the commission’s decision to amend the RPO in order to use EVMs in the general election.

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