Bangladesh goes to
the polls for the ninth parliament today, about two years after the schedule
after the military-controlled interim government had on December 17, 2008 withdrawn the state of emergency ordered
on January 11, 2007.
More than 81 million people will exercise
their franchise in the national polls, originally scheduled for January 22,
The January 2007 elections were suspended
because of the declaration of the state of emergency and subsequent assumption
of office the military-controlled interim government on January 12, 2007
promising qualitative changes in political hostility and mistrust.
The interim government hoped that the
elections would be held in a free, fair and credible manner. More than 3,60,000
local and international observers will monitor the polls.
earlier announced a public holiday today to facilitate the polling between
8:00am and 4:00pmwithout any break.
All the constituencies but the Noakhali 1 will
go to the polls today. The elections to the Noakhali 1 constituency have been
suspended after the death of the Awami League-led alliance candidate for the
constituency, Ganatantri Party president Nurul Islam.
One thousand, five hundred and fifty-five
candidates are contesting the polls for the 299 constituencies. The Election
Commission set up 35,263 polling centres across the country.
More on this from our Dhaka reporters Amir Khasru and Matiur Rahman Chowdhury and Zahurul Alam.