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Bangladesh To Have Record Number of Poll Observers


Election officials in Bangladesh say the parliamentary election set for the end of this month will have more election observers than any poll in the country's history.

They say thousands of observers will deploy to polling stations around the country to verify the integrity of the December 29th election, which is designed to return Bangladesh to democracy after nearly two years of military-backed emergency rule.

The chief election commissioner (A.T.M. Shamsul Huda) said (Monday) 25-hundred will be foreign observers, including teams from the European Union, the Commonwealth and the United Nations, plus local poll monitors.

He said the commission will require strict neutrality from observers, and if any are caught showing bias toward one of the parties, they will be "blacklisted."

He also said first-time voters may be a key force for political change.

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