By-polls to Dhaka-17 seat using ballot papers is considered to be a ‘trial run’ for the Election Commission, as the entire upcoming 12th National Parliamentary elections will be held using ballot papers.
The 12th general election is likely to be held between the last week of December and early January next year.
Not only that, after the existing EC took over the charge, it is going to use ballot papers for the first time in any election.
The by-election to Dhaka-17 constituency, which has become vacant after the death of prominent actor Akbar Hossain Pathan, popularly known as Faruk, is scheduled to be held on July 17. Faruk died on May 15, at the age of 75.
The law requires by-polls for parliamentary seats to be held within 90 days of them being vacated.
The EC officials earlier in June announced the schedule for the by-election to Dhaka-17 seat.
According to the schedule, prospective candidates must file their nomination papers by June 15. The nominations will be scrutinised on June 18 and the last day for withdrawal of candidature is on June 25.
The authorities will allocate symbols to candidates on the following day. Voting will start at 8:00am on July 17 and continue until 4:00pm.
According to officials, as the EC does not have the capacity to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in all the 300 seats, the electoral body has decided to use ballot papers in the upcoming 12th National Parliamentary Election.
Moreover, the officials said the decision of using ballot papers has been taken since there has been controversy over the use of EVMs in the voting.
In this regard, EC Secretary Md Jahangir Alam said, “We (EC) are going to use ballot papers in the by-poll to Dhaka-17 seat to determine the pros and cons of using them and also to figure out what preparations should be made.”
Meanwhile, candidates from different political parties have started to collect nomination papers in view to take part in the by-poll to Dhaka-17 seat.
Some individuals have also collected nomination forms from the EC.
Of them, Ashraful Hossen Alom, alias Hero Alom, on Monday collected the form from the EC.
One Siddiqur Rahman, who is also a TV actor, collected a form seeking nomination from the ruling Awami League.
Besides, the main opposition in the parliament, Jatiya Party, on Monday nominated its presidium member Kazi Mamunur Rashid as the party candidate for the Dhaka-17 seat by poll.