National Election: Curtain falls on electioneering

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Staff Reporter:

The curtain fell on the campaign this morning (Friday morning), 48 hours before the voting in the 11th parliamentary elections beginning on Sunday morning.

The restriction came into effect at 8am as per the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 1972.

The article 78 (1) of the RPO stipulates: “None shall convene, hold or attend any public meeting, 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 and ending at forty-eight hours after conclusion of the poll for any election in that constituency.”

The voting in Sunday’s election will start at 8am on Sunday and continue till 4pm without any break.

No public meeting or procession will be allowed till Tuesday midnight, 48 hours after the end of the balloting.

The Election Commission has already sent its directives to all returning officers and authorities concerned to take necessary measures so that no one can conduct electioneering after 8am on Friday, said EC additional secretary Mokhlesur Rahman on Thursday.

The official election campaign by political parties and their candidates began on December 10 right after the allocation of electoral symbols among the contestants.

A total of 103,826,819 voters –- 52,371,616 males and 51,455,203 females — 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 parliamentary seat following the death of the Jatiya Oikyafront candidate.

Over 1,800 candidates are running in the election being held with the participation of all 39 registered political parties. However, the exact number of contesting candidates was not available in the EC Secretariat as of Thursday evening.

As per the draft list, there are 1,849 contesting contestants — 1,748 nominated by political parties and 101 independent — in the electoral race, he said.

The EC has already finalised some 40,051 polling stations with total 205,691 booths for the 299 constituencies. As per the police reports sent to the Election Commission, some 64 percent polling stations are important (vulnerable) across the country.

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 held ‘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.

A total of 2,124,554 voters will be allowed to cast votes through EVMs under the six constituencies.

The EC on Thursday sent a letter to the Bangladesh Bank to stop the transaction through the mobile banking and the postal money banking from 5pm on Friday to 5pm on Sunday to check illegal transaction during the election.

As per the EC’s directives, the government has already imposed ban on plying of unauthorised motorcycles from Friday midnight, while other vehicles from Saturday midnight.unb

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