Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Poll Schedule Disclosed, No change on Election Date -Election Commission

Election Commission rescheduled the polls timetable again, at the request of the advisory council of caretaker government,keeping in mind holding of election within the 90-day constitutional obligation.The council also requested Election Commissioner SM Zakaria yesterday to go on leave of absence and claimed that it has implemented the entire package proposal finalised 16 days ago although the proposals also included sending of Election Commissioner Modabbir Hossain Chowdhury on leave and appointment of new election commissioners to recast the EC.The council of advisers also decided not to appoint any new election commissioner although its package proposal had a deal in this regard.

A delegation of the AL-led grand alliance rushed to the EC yesterday afternoon and rejected the new timetable for the ninth parliamentary election, demanding announcement of election schedule after properly correcting the voter list first.
In line with the request of the council of advisers, the EC rescheduled the next election by extending the deadline for filing nomination papers by three days up to December 24.

The dates for other stages of the election were also re-fixed. In the new timetable, the date for scrutiny of nomination papers is December 28 and the date for withdrawal of candidature is January 3. The previous deadlines were December 22 and 28. The polling date, however, remains the same--January 22. The EC has to complete the election by January 25, the last day of the constitutionally stipulated 90-day period for holding election.

In reply to the demand of voter list correction, by AL-led grand alliance,the Election Commissioner said the electoral roll can be updated up to the day before election and the lists will be available at the district election offices for correction.

Following these latest developments towards resolving the existing political deadlock, the council of advisers hopes that all political parties will now participate in the election.

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