As Bangladesh braces for its imminent national election in the coming months, the political and economic landscape is experiencing heightened activity, setting the stage for potential significant shifts in the electoral landscape. In a meeting at the Bangabhaban on November 9, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal disclosed that President Mohammed Shahabuddin expressed contentment with the Election Commission’s (EC) comprehensive preparations for the upcoming 12th National Assembly elections.
President Shahabuddin, urging the EC to ensure the nation’s democratic and constitutional continuity, emphasized the significance of conducting the election with a commitment to freedom, equity, and tranquility during a detailed briefing on the election preparations provided by CEC Kazi Habibul Awal. As the nation gears up for the crucial event, President Shahabuddin affirmed his support and cooperation with the EC, highlighting the imperative of adhering to the stipulated time frame for the election. The approaching period leading up to January carries the potential for pivotal variables that could influence the final outcome of the election.
What EC says
On the 5th of November, following a series of deliberations with political parties, EC officials told the media that they are taking preparations to announce the schedule of the national election in mid-November, and in that case the polls will be held in January 2024.
When questioned about the absence of certain parties from the dialogue, CEC Awal responded, “We allowed for a limited time frame for the dialogue. Some parties may have abstained due to these time constraints. If they desire, I am willing to engage with the commission to facilitate further discussions with them.”
He stressed the urgency of the situation, stating, “With only two months left before the election, expeditious progress is imperative.”
CEC Awal underscored the Election Commission’s commitment to fostering transparent communication with all stakeholders in the electoral process, as political parties play a pivotal role. He further mentioned that the discussions encompassed the electoral environment, with political parties articulating specific conditions they would like to see upheld during the upcoming polls.
90-Day Countdown Commences
As per the constitutional mandate, parliamentary elections are required to take place within 90 days preceding the conclusion of the five-year parliamentary term. Given that the present parliament’s term is set to conclude on the 29th of January, the 90-day countdown commenced on the 1st of November.
The Election Commission (EC) has announced its intention to disclose the national election schedule in the middle of November, with the intent of conducting the election in January.
In July 2022, the Election Commission held a dialogue with political parties to establish an action plan for the upcoming 12th national elections. In keeping with their tradition, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chose to abstain from participating in these discussions.
As Bangladesh readies itself for the upcoming 2024 national elections, the Awami League (AL) has articulated its unwavering commitment to cultivating a robust voter turnout. Their comprehensive strategy is a multifaceted approach that includes the mobilization of their existing support base, active engagement with recipients of government benefits, provision of assistance to vulnerable voters, and the execution of robust door-to-door campaigns. By championing a participatory election with a primary focus on augmenting voter turnout, the AL aspires to establish a new benchmark within the political arena, differentiating itself from previous electoral cycles. The recent success of their strategy, as evident in recent local elections, augurs well for the upcoming national polls and sets an optimistic tone for the future of the country’s political landscape.