Vol. 5 Num 574 Fri. January 06, 2006  
Letters to Editor

Voter list

The general election was held on October 1, 2001 to the 8th National Assembly. The next election is due in December, 2006-January, 2007. There would be a gap of over five years since the last election. The voter list used in the last election was finalised in mid-2001.

Renewal of the list is essential since some elderly voters might have died by this time, some might have changed the residence and many have reached the age of 18 to be eligible to vote.

But a controversy is going on between the government and the opposition as regards preparation of a fresh list or renewal of the previous one. Even the Election Commission itself is divided on the matter. Dr. Kh. Mosharraf Hossain a minister of the government-- finds no major difference between the two modes of dealing with the voter list. I find a significant (though seems minor) difference between the two modes. Renewal means verifying the previous list taking that to the field, if some persons are found missing, those should be deleted from the list, and the persons found newly eligible residing in the area concerned should be inserted. Preparing the list afresh means listing the eligible voters without consulting the previous one. If done with utmost sincerity and honesty the outcome would be the same.

Since the opposition thinks some valid eligible voters enlisted previously may be deliberately excluded if the list is prepared afresh, the EC must follow the renewal mode to come up with an authentic list acceptable to all the parties.