POST TIME: 16 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM
No live telecast from polling booths: EC
Attack on Dr Kamal unfortunate, says CEC Nurul Huda
UNB, Dhaka

No live telecast from polling booths: EC

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda yesterday said journalists cannot go for live telecast and telephonic conversations from a polling booth during voting in the upcoming general election. "No live telecast will be allowed from rooms (booths), but journalists can do so from the premises of a polling station," he said while addressing the press conference. The CEC, however, said journalists can use mobile phones to take photographs inside polling booths except the secret place of casting ballot.

He said a number of journalists will not be allowed to enter a polling booth at a time as it will create hindrance to the activities of polling officials as well as voters. The Presiding Officer of a centre will determine how many reporters can enter a polling booth at a time considering its space, Nurul

Huda said. He said the Commission is yet to take any decision over two proposals placed by law enforcement agencies before the EC to stop mobile banking and slow down the mobile internet speed to 2G from 4G for a certain time during the balloting.

In reply to a query, the CEC said a level-playing field has been created for the 11th parliamentary elections slated for December 30. “I think a level-playing field has been ensured as candidates can carry out electioneering. They face no obstruction while conducting the campaign,” he said.

About the authority of the armed forces to be deployed in the election, Nurul Huda said the army can arrest troublemakers as per the law in case the situation turns worse. “Yes, they can make arrest. The power is bestowed upon them. If there’s a magistrate and situation turns worse, they can do so as per the law (the Criminal Code of Procedure, 1898),” he said responding to another query.

The CEC also said Friday’s attack on Jatiya Okiyafront leader Dr Kamal Hossain’s motorcade is unfortunate.

“It’s an unfortunate incident. He’s a senior citizen and famous person. Any attack on him is never expected,” the CEC said replying to a question at a press conference at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city.

Nurul Huda further said, “It’s a criminal offence in the eye of law. Measures will be taken in this regard according to law.”

The CEC said the Commission will send their allegation, submitted over the incident, to the election enquiry committee to look into the matter.

He said the EC will take measures after receiving report from the enquiry committee.

Dr Kamal Hossain’s motorcade came under attack allegedly by ruling party activists near the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur on Friday morning while returning after paying tributes to the martyred intellectuals, leaving at least 10 people injured.

However, Dr Kamal, also the chief of Gana Forum that is a component of Jatiya Oikyafront, escaped the attack unhurt.

Three election commissioners — MahbubTalukder, Kabita Khanom and Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury — and EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed were present at the press conference.