Dhaka, Dec 26 (UNB) – The curtain is set to fall on campaign on Friday morning, 48 hours before the voting in the 11thparliamentary elections begins at 8am on Sunday.
The Election Commission has already asked returning officers and authorities concerned to take necessary measures so that no one can conduct electioneering after 8am on December 28, said EC additional secretary Mokhlesur Rahman.
The article 78 (1) of the Representation of the People Order 1972 stipulates: “No person shall convene, hold or attend any public meeting, and no person shall 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.”
The official election campaign by political parties and their candidates began on December 10 right after the allocation of electoral symbols among the contestants.
Some 10.4 crore voters 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 following the death of Jatiya Oikyafront candidate.
Some 1,600 magistrates -– 600 judicial and 1,000 executive -- will remain deployed from December 29 to January 1 to ensure that the electoral code of conduct is properly followed by candidates and their supporters.
The magistrates conduct drives against the violation of election code. A judicial magistrate can hand down maximum seven-year imprisonment, while an executive magistrate can sentence an offender to maximum two years in jail.
Some 1,800 candidates are running in the election.
The EC has already finalised some 40,000 polling stations for 299 constituencies for the voting which will begin at 8am and continue till 4pm without any break.
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 will hold '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.
‘The mock voting through EVMs will be conducted from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Thursday in all the polling stations of the six constituencies,’ said SM Mahmud Arafat, officer-in-charge of Operation Planning and Communication of the EVM Project.
As part of making the new machine familiar to the voters, the EC is going to arrange 'mock vote' through EVMs, three days before the election.
Dhaka, Dec 26 (UNB) - The power unit 4 of China’s Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant starts commercial operations on December 22 after its successful commissioning.
All the tests for Power Units 3 and 4, stipulated in the commissioning program were conducted and the results were found compliant with the technical specifications and safety requirements as mentioned in the general contract, said a Rosatom statement.
Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear agency, is also engaged in Bangladesh to build the Rooppur 2400 MW nuclear plant.
A preliminary acceptance certificate for the Tianwan NPP Unit 4 nuclear island, based on the tests results will be issued shortly, said the Rosatom.
General contract for Units 3 and 4 of Tianwan NPP was made by and between Atomstroyexport, the general contractor from Russia and Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation (JNPC) of China.
‘This means that a two-year warranty period for the plant operations has commenced, and once expired the unit will ultimately be handed over to the Chinese Party,’ says Alexey Bannik, Vice President for Projects in China, Rosatom’s Engineering Division.
Tianwan NPP handover for commercial operations means that electricity generated by the Unit 4 starts to be supplied to the national grid of China at the fixed price quoted by the authorities.
The Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant is being constructed by the Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation (JNPC) of China in cooperation with the Russian company Atomstroyexport.
Under an agreement signed this year Russia will build 4 new power units with 3+ generation VVER-1200 reactors -Power Units 7 and 8 with VVER-1200 reactors at the Tianwan NPP and 2 power units at the new Xudapu site.
Dhaka, Dec 26 (UNB) – Members of Bangladesh Army conducted a total of 1,039 patrols in their designated areas of 389 upazilas in 62 districts on Wednesday as part of their duties for the forthcoming general election.
With this, the force has carried out 2,475 patrols since its deployment on December 24, said an Inter Services Public Relation release.
Alongside regular patrol, army members are maintaining communication with law enforcement agencies and remain ready to provide overall assistance, if necessary, the release said.
The Armed Forces members were deployed in the field for 10 days from Monday to help the Election Commission and civil administration ensure the law and order before, during and after the general election billed for December 30.
Dhaka, Dec 26 (UNB) - Just three days before the national election, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad returned home from Singapore on Wednesday ‘receiving treatment’ there for over two weeks.
Ershad along with party presidium member Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu and his APS Manjurul Islam arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International around 9pm by a flight of Singapore Airlines,” Jatiya Party presidium member SM Faisal Chisti told UNB.
Party senior leaders welcomed their chairman at the airport.
Chisti said Ershad straight drove to his residence President Park at Baridhara in the capital.
Ershad is contesting the 11th parliamentary elections from Dhaka-17 and Rangpur-3 seats, but he could not carry out any election campaign as he had been there in Singapore since the beginning of the electioneering.
On December 10, Ershad went to Singapore for receiving treatment as was suffering from serious pain in his knees and some other complications.
Dhaka, Dec 26 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront on Wednesday alleged that the election atmosphere across the country is ‘very appalling’ due to widespread violence unleashed by ‘ruling party men’.
“Our leaders and activists were arrested during my electioneering in my seat (Dhaka-7) today (Wednesday). The situation is identical all over the country,” said Gano Forum general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu.
Speaking at a press conference at Oikyafront’s Purana Paltan office, he further said, “Sheaf of Paddy candidate Fazlur Rahman from the President’s (Abdul Hamid’s) area informed me that police asked him to leave his area with his supporters to avoid dire consequences…the election atmosphere is so horrible that we can’t explain in any language.”
Gano Forum executive president Subrata Chowdhury said the government has turned the entire country into a ‘jail’ through wholesale arrest of opposition leaders and activists apart from continued attacks on them.
He said over 300 opposition leaders and activists were arrested from his election area Dhaka-6 over a few weeks implicating them in various ‘false’ cases.
Subrata Chowdhury said his supporters cannot carry out electioneering due to obstruction by ruling party men and arrest by law enforcers. “It seems to me we’re heading towards a bloody election. It’s now our question why the government and the Election Commission have created such a situation.”
He said they had hoped that the situation would improve after the deployment of army. “But now our hope turned into a disappointment.”
The Oikyafront leader called upon the army to play a vital role in creating an election atmosphere and ensuring a fair and credible election as per people’s hopes and aspirations.
He said a silent vote revolution will take place on December 30 as the country’s 90 percent people are eagerly waiting to cast their votes for ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.
In a written statement, Gano Forum presidium member Joglul Haider Afrik narrated different incidents of attacks on Oikyafront leaders and activists and the arrest of opposition leaders and activists.