Bangladesh to defer election by week to Dec. 30

Opposition rejects revised election schedule announced by country’s chief election commissioner

Bangladesh to defer election by week to Dec. 30

Bangladesh will deferred its general election by a week to Dec. 30, 2018, the country’s chief election commission announced on Monday.

KM Nurul Huda, the chief election commissioner, said the election schedule has been revised at the request of the opposition parties, according to the Daily Star, a local newspaper.

Last week, the Election Commission of Bangladesh had announced the country would go to polls on Dec. 23.

Bangladesh Awami League party, the ruling party, has welcomed the announcement.

However, opposition parties rejected the revised election schedule and demanded a delay of one month in order to “create a credible and acceptable election environment.” 

Mirza Fakhrul Islam, the leader of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, said: “There is no environment to hold a free, fair and credible election in the country”. 

According to government statistics, nearly 104.2 million registered voters will elect 300 parliamentarians in the general elections.

The commission will use electronic voting machines in urban centers, including capital Dhaka, ignoring objections from the opposition.

The country's main opposition leader, Khaleda Zia, is behind bars and may not be able to contest the election.