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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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Change of UZ poll schedule not practical

EC thinks it would lead to long delay

The Election Commission (EC) thinks the upazila election has to be held according to the current schedule since holding it under a fresh schedule could push the election date to the end of 2009.

According to the electoral roll ordinance, the commission is legally bound to start updating the voter list on January 2 every year and this could take at least five to six months to complete. The EC, however, can avoid the update before the upazila polls since the current polls schedule was announced earlier.

"If the upazila election is not held according to the current schedule, the fate of the polls will be uncertain," Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain told reporters yesterday.

He said the EC will have to revise the voter list from January 2 if it cancels the upazila election schedules announced on November 2.

"But if the upazila election is held on January 22, the commission will not need to update the voter list as per the electoral roll ordinance," he added.

Sakhawat said it might not be possible for the EC to hold the upazila election under a fresh schedule after the parliamentary elections, scheduled for December 29.

About political parties' demand for holding upazila elections after the parliamentary polls, he said the political parties had feared that the law and order situation might deteriorate if the campaigns for both elections go on simultaneously.

According to the new poll dates for both the elections, the campaign for upazila elections will begin after completion of the parliamentary elections.

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