Vol. 5 Num 1105 Tue. July 10, 2007  
Front Page

Roadmap for polls Sunday

The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday will announce a tentative date for holding the stalled ninth parliamentary elections and declare the roadmap to the polls in which the date for completing the voter list with photographs would be mentioned.

Sources said the chief election commissioner (CEC) on Sunday would make the roadmap public in a press conference at the EC Secretariat.

Meanwhile, the CEC and two other election commissioners yesterday afternoon met Chief Adviser to the Caretaker Government Fakhruddin Ahmed at his office and discussed various issues regarding the stalled ninth parliamentary polls, the EC's roadmap to polls and plans for electoral reforms.

Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain told The Daily Star that the EC would announce its complete plan by July 15 for holding the parliamentary polls. "Wait for a few more days. You will be able to know everything," he said declining to elaborate on the EC's plan.

CEC ATM Shamsul Huda on June 30 said a complete roadmap for holding the next parliamentary elections with a specific timeframe for preparing the voter list with photographs and a date for announcing the election schedule would be made public by July 15.

Since then the CEC has been working to finalise the roadmap with the help of two election commissioners. CEC Huda earlier said that the parliamentary polls might be held at the end of November or in December next year.

Officials at the EC Secretariat said the task of preparing the voter list with photographs has to be completed by October next year. The EC in its roadmap will announce the timetable for completing the electoral roll.

The EC is now also evaluating the field-level experience obtained from the Sripur pilot project where a voter list with photographs was prepared simultaneously with national identity cards. It earlier announced that it would start field-level work for preparing the voter list from mid-July.

The EC, reconstituted on February 4, prepared a draft amendment to Electoral Rolls Ordinance, 1982 and the rules to prepare the voter list with photographs.

The CEC on April 5 at a press briefing announced a set of draft proposals for electoral reforms and said they would finalise the proposals after consulting political parties. But it cannot hold such meetings due to the ban on indoor politics.

On April 4, Huda at a meeting with the law adviser asked the government to lift the ban on indoor politics, allowing the EC to hold talks with political parties.

In the roadmap, the EC may clarify its stance regarding dialogues with political parties to finalise the proposals for electoral reforms.