Stern action for negligence

December 29, 2008

CEC warns poll officials again
Unb, Dhaka
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda has urged the voters to cast their votes judiciously in today’s national election.
“Don’t vote at the instigation of anybody, cast vote by using your intellect and conscience to achieve your cherished dream,” he said in a televised address to the nation last night.
The CEC also directed the presiding and returning officers across the country to discharge their election duties impartially and in accordance with the election rules and regulations.
“I ask all returning and presiding officers to discharge their assigned duties neutrally. If there is any negligence in this respect, stern action will be taken against those responsible,” he cautioned.
The CEC said after completion of vote casting, the presiding officers must start ballot counting in presence of candidates or their agents and two local election observers.
“After counting, the presiding officers will take signatures of the polling agents and hang the approved result sheet,” he said, adding the media then can publish such result from polling centres.
After collecting the results from presiding officers, the returning officers will announce the unofficial results locally and send a copy to the Election Commission, he said.
“The EC will announce the final result after cross-checking,” the CEC said.
There are 8,10,58,698 registered voters in the country. A total of 1,555 candidates are contesting 299 of the 300 parliamentary seats. Polling in one constituency (Noakhali-1) has been postponed until January 12 following death of a candidate.
The CEC also urged the countrymen to cast their votes for honest, dedicated and patriotic candidates.
He hoped that the voters would be able to present a new government to the nation in the beginning of New Year-2009 through the historic election.
“We introduced transparent ballot boxes for the first time to check vote rigging,” the CEC said, adding that national identity cards are not mandatory for voters this time. But he added that it will be better if the voters carry their ID cards at the polling centres to quickly identify themselves.
He warned against any vote irregularities including taking ballot papers out of the polling centres. “Anyone found doing this would immediately be brought under trial,” he said.
He also said rules under the Representation of People Order (RPO) would be strictly enforced to ensure maximum transparency.

Courtesy: thedailystar.net

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