Bangladesh CEC reaffirms national elections by next December

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Dhaka, Feb 25 (UNI) Bangladesh Chief Election Commissioner Dr ATM Shamsul Huda today brushed aside doubts and rumours about holding the stalled parliamentary polls by next December as he reassured the polls will be held in time.

Dr Huda, who was appointed the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) by the incumbent military-backed government dismissing the previous CEC said, ''Do or die polls must be held by the deadline. We can not be branded as national betrayer by skipping off the announced election roadmap.'' He made the remarks during a dialogue with one of the country's major parties Awami League that had been in power from 1996-2001.

As confusion shrouds over the public mind about the timely holding of the polls, the Awami League delegation led by its acting President Zillur Rahman pressed for immediate lifting of the 13-month-old state of emergency and freeing politics for creating congenial pre-polls atmosphere.

The parliamentary elections slated for January 22 last year were abandoned following terrible political violence over the allegation of planned riggings by immediate past Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's BNP-led alliance.

Dr Huda agreed with the Awami League that the emergency should be lifted and politics opened for creating congenial atmosphere. He said interim caretaker government chief advisor Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed assured him that everything will be done in time.

Dr Huda informed 50 per cent of voters list will be completed this month registering four crore voters. A draft voters list will be published by June 30. ''So, we are very much on track. We did not miss any deadline,'' he claimed.

The Election Commission is currently holding dialogue with major parties to update election rules to make future elections free from rigging, muscle power and black money.


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