Curtain falls on electioneering Friday morning
Dhaka: The curtain is set to fall on campaign on Friday morning, 48 hours before the voting in the 11thparliamentary elections begins at 8am on Sunday.
The Election Commission has already asked returning officers and authorities concerned to take necessary measures so that no one can conduct electioneering after 8am on December 28, said EC additional secretary Mokhlesur Rahman, reports the UNB.
The article 78 (1) of the Representation of the People Order 1972 stipulates: ‘No person shall convene, hold or attend any public meeting, and no person shall promote or join in any procession within the area of any constituency during the period beginning at forty eight hours prior to start of the poll.’
The official election campaign by political parties and their candidates began on December 10 right after the allocation of electoral symbols among the contestants.
Some 10.4 crore voters will be allowed to exercise their franchise in 299 constituencies out of 300 across the country.
The EC has postponed the election to Gaibandha-3 following the death of Jatiya Oikyafront candidate.
Some 1,600 magistrates -– 600 judicial and 1,000 executive—will remain deployed from December 29 to January 1 to ensure that the electoral code of conduct is properly followed by candidates and their supporters.
The magistrates conduct drives against the violation of election code. A judicial magistrate can hand down maximum seven-year imprisonment, while an executive magistrate can sentence an offender to maximum two years in jail.
Over 2,500 candidates are running in the election.
The EC has already finalised some 40,000 polling stations for 299 constituencies for the voting which will begin at 8am and continue till 4pm without any break.
Out of 299 constituencies, electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in six – Dhaka-6 and 13, Chattogram-9, Rangpur-3, Khulna-2 and Satkhira-2 instead of traditional ballot papers.
The EC will hold ‘Mock Voting’ through EVMs in the six constituencies on Thursday as part of the preparations to use the machines in the parliamentary seats for the first time in the country.
‘The mock voting through EVMs will be conducted from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Thursday in all the polling stations of the six constituencies,’ said SM Mahmud Arafat, officer-in-charge of Operation Planning and Communication of the EVM Project.
As part of making the new machine familiar to the voters, the EC is going to arrange ‘mock vote’ through EVMs, three days before the election.