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Bangladesh - December 17, 2023

President gives ‘in principle’ approval to EC’s request for army deployment

A preliminary plan for military deployment from Dec 29 to Jan 10 has been devised, focusing on the upcoming election scheduled for Jan 7

President Mohammed Shahabuddin has approved ‘in-principle’ the Election Commission’s request for the deployment of the army during the 12th parliamentary election.

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal met with President Shahabuddin at the Bangabhaban on Sunday to seek approval for the matter.

Awal arrived at the Bangabhaban at 10:45 am and was accompanied by EC Secretary Jahangir Alam. The meeting began at 11 am.

“The president has listened to our view on the matter. He has assured us that he will discuss it with the armed forces and make a decision very soon,” said Jahangir.

The EC secretary said that the president will give his consent formally. After that, a circular will be issued to determine the scope of work and the timeframe.

“The matter will mainly be discussed with the armed forces and we will send out separate letters.”

In preparation for the upcoming election, Awal has held discussions with the armed forces, the defence ministry, and the home ministry.

The EC has made plans to involve military personnel in election duties, similar to the last two parliamentary elections. A preliminary plan for military deployment from Dec 29 to Jan 10 has been devised, focusing on the upcoming election scheduled for Jan 7. The plan is contingent upon the president’s approval.

There are 2,260 valid candidates in the 12th general election, including candidates from 28 registered parties and independent candidates.

The time for withdrawal of nomination papers ends on Sunday. Returning officers will allocate symbols to the competing candidates on Monday.

Nearly 750,000 members of law enforcement agencies, including the police, BGB, and RAB, will be strategically deployed during the election.

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