Mon, 26 February 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Voting begins in 12th national election 

Update : 07 Jan 2024, 09:15

Polling in the 12th Jatiya Sangsad (JS) started sharp at 8am today simultaneously at 42,024 voting centres in 299 constituencies across the country as Election Commission (EC) earlier postponed the election to Naogaon-2 constituency due to independent candidate Aminul Islam's death.
 
Awami League (AL) President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cast her vote at Dhaka City College here at 8:04am. Later, her daughter Saima Wazed voted at the same centre.
 
Both male and female voters were seen casting their votes in a peaceful atmosphere as a festive mood is prevailing in the polling centres across the country amid the tight security of the law enforcement agencies as well as armed forces.
 
The balloting will continue till 4pm without any break as the EC has taken all-out preparations to hold the elections in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
 
In the early hours of today, the EC sent ballot papers to all polling centres. Earlier, the EC sent other polling materials, including stamp pads, official seals, marking seals, to the centres on Saturday.
 
It is the first time in the country’s election history that the EC sent ballot papers to polling stations in the morning of voting day except 2,964 centres in the country's remote areas as ballots to these centres were sent on Saturday.
 
As many as 11,93,33,157 voters, including 6,05,92,169 male, 5,87,40,140 female and 848 transgender, are registered to exercise their franchise to elect 299 parliament members today.
 
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal, in his address to the nation on Saturday evening, called upon the voters to exercise their voting rights freely, braving all fears and concerns.
 
“Cast your vote with enthusiasm and festivity to discharge your civic responsibility in forming the next parliamentary government,” he said.
 
Habibul Awal reiterated the commission's commitment in discharging duty with utmost honesty and sincerity to hold a free, fair, neutral and peaceful election with the cooperation of all stakeholders.
 
A total of 1,969 candidates, including 1,533 from 28 political parties and 436 independents, are vying in the polls in 299 constituencies.
 
Around eight lakh officials are discharging their duties in the voting while around 3,000 executive and judicial magistrates side by side with eight lakh law enforcers including members of armed forces are on duty to maintain law and order and ensure public security.
 
Describing the restrictions on vehicular movement marking the elections, the CEC said all modes of transport will ply except motorcycle, microbus, taxicab and truck to facilitate the voters to reach the polling centres.
 
A total of 66 returning officers (ROs), including two divisional commissioners and 64 deputy commissioners (DCs), are performing their responsibilities to conduct the polls.
 
Members of the armed forces were deployed on Wednesday across the country to assist the local civil administration in holding the general election in a free, fair, and peaceful manner.
 
Army personnel are performing their duties in 62 districts while Navy personnel have been deployed in two coastal districts- Bhola and Barguna- and 19 upazilas "In Aid to the Civil Power".
 
Besides, members of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) are providing assistance to the voting centres in remote hilly areas in the country with helicopters.
 
Members of law enforcement agencies and armed forces will remain deployed till January 10 to ensure peace, and control law and order in the country.
 
In addition, BGB Dog Squads specially trained on explosive materials are working in different areas across the country to deal with any violent activities.
 
Besides, the Fire Service and Civil Defence has formed a central monitoring and coordination cell to deal with any kind of incident including fire and violent activities during the JS elections across the country.
 
Around 23,000 local and around 200 foreign observers will monitor the polls while an adequate number of local and foreign journalists will also be in the field to observe the elections and collect photographs and information.

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