Live telecast, phone call from polling booths banned: CEC

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Dec 16,2018 | Updated: 01:58, Dec 16,2018

 
 

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda. — UNB photo

Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda said on Saturday that no live telecast or telephone conversation would be allowed from polling booths during voting in the December 30 general election.
Journalists, however, can use mobile phone to take photographs inside the polling stations and telecast live from corridor or ground of the polling stations, he said at a press conference the Election Commission media centre.
He urged journalists not to enter polling stations in a huge group at a time as it would cause disturbance to polling officials and voters.
He said that the respective presiding officer would determine how many journalists could enter at a time considering the space of the polling rooms.
Replying to a question, Nurul Huda said, ‘I think a level playing field has been ensured as the candidates can carry out electioneering. There is no obstruction for them to conduct the campaign.’
He said that the commission was yet to make a decision on two proposals the law enforcement agencies placed before it to stop mobile banking and slow down the speed of mobile phone network to 2G from 4G during polling.
About the authority of the armed forces members to be deployed in the election, he said the army could arrest troublemakers in case of worse situation as per the law.
‘If there is a magistrate and situation turns worse, they can do so as per the law,’ he said.
The Criminal Code of Procedure stipulates, ‘When the public security is manifestly endangered by any such assembly, and when no executive magistrate can be communicated with, any commissioned officer of the Bangladesh Army may disperse such assembly by military force, and may arrest and confine any persons forming part of it, in order to disperse such assembly or that they may be punished according to law; but if, while he is acting under this section, it becomes practicable for him to communicate with an executive magistrate, he shall do so, and shall thenceforward obey the instructions of the magistrate as to whether he shall or shall not continue such action.
Election commissioners Mahbub Talukder, Kabita Khanom and Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury and commission secretary Helaluddin Ahmed were present at the press conference.

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