Bangladesh's Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. ATM Shamsul Huda said Tuesday the general elections may be held before October next year, ahead of the timeline, provided electoral roll with voter photos is completed in next July.
As per latest projections made by the CEC, the new electoral roll may be finalized by July 2008 and the elections held by October next year. Earlier, the Election Commission had pledged to hold the elections by December 2008.
"We have a projection the voter list may be finalized by July. We hope to achieve it," CEC Huda told reporters.
He said, "We have always been saying that December (2008) is our target time. But the national elections may be held before October if voter list completes (by July next). In this case, the elections may come forward by maximum one or two months."
The 9th parliamentary elections originally scheduled on Jan. 22 this year was postponed by the incumbent military-backed caretaker government following violent disputes over the impartiality of election issues.
To quell political turmoil over the abortive elections, President Prof. Iajuddin Ahmed declared the state of emergency on Jan. 11 and installed a new caretaker government headed by Chief Advisor Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed.
The prime task of the caretaker government is to ensure a free, fair and credible election on the basis of a flawless electoral roll.
The Election Commission announced a roadmap for the general elections in mid-July that the elections will be held before the end of 2008.