Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda has said the Election Commission has planned to introduce a voter registration system for Bangladeshis living abroad. The CEC said the commission will set up offices in several places in Singapore, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, the UK, the USA, Italy, Australia and Canada, the hub of Bangladeshi expatriates.
He said this while making a power-point presentation at the opening session of a two-day international conference on ’Making Our Elections Inclusive and Accessible’ on Thursday.
The Election Commission of India organised the conference marking National Voters’ Day celebrations.
Over 10 million Bangladeshis live in 157 countries and many of these expatriates have failed to enroll in the voter list and do not have NIDs, said the CEC.
He said technical and non-technical teams of experts will visit the countries to conduct a feasibility study.
Besides Bangladesh, top election commission officials from Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Kazakstan and Russia are participating in the event.
Representatives from several international organisations are also taking part.
Chief election commissioner of India Sunil Arora delivered the keynote address at the opening session.
In his first foreign visit after presiding over the successful holding of Bangladesh’s 11th parliamentary election on December 30, CEC Huda said the polls have been inclusive with all registered political parties taking part in it.
The elections were free, fair and peaceful with 25,000 local (from 81 organisations) and 160 international observers freely watching the voting, according to Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
Huda said the Election Commission has focused on young voters encouraging their enrollment through SMS, TVC, radio, posters and leaflets. Voters’ awareness programme has also been included in the primary and secondary level curricula.