CEC Awal to announce election schedule in televised speech Wednesday evening

The schedule will come amid a blockade of BNP and its allies that demand the resignation of the current government

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 15 Nov 2023, 04:23 AM
Updated : 15 Nov 2023, 04:23 AM

The Election Commission will announce the date and details of the 12th general election on Wednesday evening.

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal will announce the schedule in a televised speech at 7 pm Wednesday, according to Md Jahangir Alam, spokesperson for the commission.

The countdown to the election already began on Nov 1 with regulations stipulating a Jan 29 deadline.

The schedule will come amid a blockade of BNP and its allies that demand the resignation of the government and the appointment of a non-partisan caretaker government.

The ruling Awami League has remained adamant about holding the election as per the Constitution.

In 2014, the BNP and like-minded parties boycotted the 10th general election over similar demands. But the Awami League was then elected for a second consecutive term amid violence across the country.

In 2018, the BNP took part in the election but raised allegations of ballot stuffing on the night before the election after losing by a massive margin. At the end of the 10th parliament’s term, MPs elected from the BNP stepped down.

This year, the BNP has launched protests mirroring its 2014 efforts, and violence has erupted across the country. Arson attacks on vehicles and sabotage incidents have again become a major cause for public concern. The United States has called on the major political parties of the country to settle conflicts with “unconditional” discussions, but such talks have yet to start.

The BNP called another 48-hour blockade for Wednesday and Thursday. This will be the fifth round of blockades they have called.

Several political parties have called on the Election Commission to suspend the announcement of the election schedule amid such political unrest. But the commission has made it clear that though parties hold the right to boycott the polls themselves, the EC is required to hold the polls on time.

The CEC and four election commissioners met with the president on Nov 9 to apprise him about the state of preparations for the election.

Following the meeting, the EC said they informed the president that they were “determined” to hold the election on time and in the prescribed manner as per their constitutional duty.