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Bangladesh - International - August 25, 2022

Army to be deployed in national elections

Staff Correspondent: The Election Commission (EC) has said that it has been decided to take the help of the army in the upcoming parliamentary elections. However, the organization does not want to give any judicial power to the army members.
On Thursday (August 25), Election Commissioner Md. Alamgir said.
He said that we will take the help of the army in the next election, it is in our decision. I will propose to the government to provide assistance to the army.
The Election Commissioner also said that during the national elections, the army members are helping to maintain law and order, patrolling. Go wherever you are called.
The Election Commissioner said that the army will not be given any judicial power, they will remain as standing force or patrol and as technical assistants in EVMs.
Md. Alamgir said, we can seek the cooperation of any organization from the government. So, if military assistance is sought, they are bound to provide that assistance.
He said that the EC did not want to control the Ministry of Home Affairs, Public Administration, Local Government and Defense during the elections. He said that some political parties had proposed that these ministries should be placed under the Commission during the elections. We did not agree with that.
He said that the news spread that the commission wants control of four ministries during the polls is not correct. The Commission seeks all necessary assistance from all Ministries and Departments.
To a question, Alamgir said, there is no opportunity to see the army outside of law and order. They have some expert people in the EVMs where the voting takes place. They will be there to see if there is a problem. They will be as technical assistants. Besides, there is no opportunity to keep in any other role.
Voting in EVM be done in 50 seats
Although it has been decided to vote in EVM in maximum 150 seats, the election commissioner Alamgir said that the number of seats to be used in this machine has not yet been finalised.
He said, we have the capacity to vote in EVMs in 70-80 seats. If the situation is such that we can do it in 150 seats, then we will do it in 150 seats. And if our procurement is not possible (can’t buy new machines) then it can be 70-80 seats. If the machine breaks down further then voting can be done at 50 pm.
The commissioner said that one and a half to two lakh more EVMs have to be bought to vote in 150 seats.
The Election Commission is in conflict with the government – Regarding this complaint of BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, he said that the Election Commission has no contact with the government.
To a question, the Election Commissioner said that the election will be held if a party comes, even if it does not come. There are 39 political parties. Nowhere has it been said that the election should be closed if no party comes. As per law, election is mandatory. Otherwise, we will act against the constitution, we will be responsible for breaking the constitution. He said that the roadmap will be finalized by the end of this month or the beginning of next month.
He said that the roadmap will be finalized by the end of this month or the beginning of next month. The roadmap will include what needs to be done to have a fair election, how to implement them, what challenges there will be, how to deal with them.

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