Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  
Front Page

EC prints ballot papers but can't say their exact numbers

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday started printing ballot papers for the ninth parliamentary election without assessing the exact number of voters and the number of ballot papers.

"EC has sent the print order of ballot papers to three government press," EC Secretary Abdur Rashid Sarker told newsmen after a two-hour meeting of the EC.

The EC secretary however could not tell the number of ballot papers to be printed.

The EC meeting discussed different issues relating to the upcoming election but the present political impasse and the poll boycott issue did not come up for discussion.

"We did not discuss the political situation," said the EC secretary who was present in the meeting.

The EC will not print ballot papers for the 17 constituencies from where candidates were elected unopposed, he said, adding that 1,000 postal ballots will be printed for each of the rest 283 constituencies.

Sources said the number of polling centres this year will be around 34,000, which is 4,100 higher than the number of centres in the previous parliamentary election.

Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Mahfuzur Rahman declined to make any comment on the EC meeting.

The EC secretary yesterday held an unscheduled meeting with Home Secretary Abdul Karim, Principal Staff Officer of Army Maj Gen Jahangir Alam Chowdhury and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Khoda Box Chowdhury to discuss how to tackle the law and order situation on the polling day.

"We discussed the role of army, police and ansar on the election day," the EC secretary said.

None of the three participants in the meeting talked to the press after the meeting.