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No move by EC on CHT local elections in Bangladesh

Biplob Rahman

bdnews24.com Senior Reporter

Dhaka, Oct 26 (bdnews24.com) – The Election Commission has taken no initiative to hold elections to the regional and three district councils, administered under specialised rule, of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Chief Election Commissioner ATM Samsul Huda told bdnews24.com, Friday morning, that according to the CHT peace treaty and laws related to it, the elections in those areas were to be held according to a voter list prepared separately for the permanent residents of those areas.

“But the voter list currently being prepared with photographs in the CHT was for the national election,” he added.

The CEC, in reply to a question, said that no decision had b! een taken whether a separate voter list for permanent residents of the regional and council areas would be made following preparation of voter lists for the national election.

Meanwhile, an official of the regional council told bdnews24.com that council chairman Jyotirindra Bodhipriyo Larma alias Santu Larma had met CHT affairs adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury last Tuesday.

“Santu Larma requested the adviser to speed up the CHT treaty implementation process.”

Larma also demanded holding of the local and regional council elections, the official added.

In 1989, three separate district councils, each with five-year tenures, were established for Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban.

However elections to these councils have not been held in the 18 years since their formation.

They have continued to function with government appointed ‘interim’ council heads, with permission of the cou! rts.

bdnews24.com/br/ff/rm/1331 hours

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