EC to set up permanent offices in 100 countries, starting with Singapore
Arafat Hasan of DOT
The Election Commission has planned to set up permanent offices in at least 100 countries around the world in order to enlist expatriate Bangladeshis as voters, reported Dhaka Tribune.
The decision came at a recent meeting of the EC’s National Identity Wing, with plans to send teams abroad for a feasibility study.
The technical and non-technical teams, consisting of experts, will visit the countries and conduct feasibility studies on renting office, set up and manpower related expenditures; systems of voter registration, campaign and connectivity.
Initially, offices will be set up in several phases in Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, UK, US, Italy, Australia, and Canada. For this, special teams from the commission will visit those countries and collect information on Bangladeshi expatriates and will be enlisted as voters
As per the Election Commission’s plan, the first offices will be set up in Singapore and UAE’s Dubai, respectively.
“As Singapore is a country of strict rules, very few illegal Bangladeshis live there. So, the country is our first choice,” said Election Commission NID registration wing Director General Brig Gen Mohammad Saidul Islam.
“We want to provide the NIDs to the doorstep of all Bangladeshi and even Bangladeshi expatriates. Those who have legal papers to liveabroad will be enlisted in the voter list and will present this proposal in the commission soon,” he added.
Meanwhile, the commission will not only enlist expatriates in its voter list, but also will collect information of all Bangladeshi expatriates including children born abroad. An “Advanced ID card” will be given to school going ones and later. After turning 18, they will be given smart NID card.
The EC cited that there are over 500,000 Bangladeshi expatriates living in the UK alone. The commission seeks to enlist all such expatriates throughout the world in the voters’ list. The EC has also taken the steps to bring expatriates involved in crime or money laundering to book.