The Election Commission on Monday asked the armed forces to deploy troops across Bangladesh to assist the civil administration for 13 days from December 29 to January 10 as the next general election is slated for January 7.
The Election Commission sent a letter to the Armed Forces Division in this regard, said EC deputy secretary Atiar Rahman.
Army deployment for 13 days was announced in the backdrop of boycotting the election by most major opposition political parties, including the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. The opposition parties are now on simultaneous movement demanding cancelation of the January 7 election schedule, resignation of the Awami League government and handing over power to a party neutral election-time government to hold the next parliamentary election.
EC deputy secretary Atiar Rahman said that the EC had taken all possible legal and administrative measures to conduct the election in a free, fair, impartial and peaceful manner.
All preparations have been made to maintain the law and order situation during the election, he said.
He said that the EC decided to deploy army to ensure peace and order before the polling, on the day of polling and after the polling, for the purpose of assisting the civil administration under the aid of the civil power.
Earlier on Sunday, president Mohammed Shahabuddin approved in principle the deployment of the army during the election.
The decision came from a meeting between the president and chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal at Bangabhaban in Dhaka.
On December 11, after taking part in a meeting with EC officials, Lieutenant General Waker-Uz-Zaman, principal staff officer of the Armed Forces Division, said that the deployment of army troops would continue until January 10.
During the 2018 general election, a total of 414 army platoons, each comprising 30 personnel, were deployed across 389 upazilas. Additionally, 48 navy platoons were deployed in 18 coastal upazilas during the polls.
On November 15, chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal announced the polls schedule fixing the polling date as January 7.