Dhaka – Bangladesh’s election authorities have deferred the next month’s election to 300 parliamentary seats by a week after a major opposition group requested for revision of the existing election schedule.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda made the fresh announcement on Monday setting December 30 for the voting date, which was December 23 as per the election schedule declared on Thursday.
Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies, which boycotted the previous 2014 general election, on Sunday decided to join the polls. Its leaders demanded at least a month deferral of the voting date.
The CEC, in response to the opposition’s demand, welcomed the parties to the election saying the revision came following their request.
The election commission, on Thursday, set December 23 for voting, November 19 as deadline for nomination to be submitted and November 29 for withdrawal of candidature.
But, the CEC in the fresh schedule set December 30 for voting across Bangladesh. The deadline for nomination submission is November 28. The date for scrutiny of nomination papers and withdrawal of candidature will be finalized Tuesday, Huda said.
The Awami League-led ruling coalition of prime minister Sheikh Hasina informed it has no objection with the changed dates for the election.
“We will go by the new dates,” said Obaidul Quader, general secretary of the Awami League party. He said the opposition alliance would have joined the election even if the schedule was unchanged.
There are more than 100 million registered voters in Bangladesh. Voters will choose representatives for 300 parliamentary seats.