Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The European Commission (EC) has decided to re-deploy a full EU Election Observation Mission (EOM), which was suspended in January 2007, for the parliamentary elections in Bangladesh scheduled to take place on December 18 next.

The decision was taken following the repeal of elements of the Emergency Power Rules in early November. A number of experts on election assessment, who will form the Core Team of the Mission, arrived in the country on November 7, according to a press statement.

The re-deployed EU EOM will be led by Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Member of the European Parliament. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner has communicated her decision to the Chief Advisor Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, by letter dated on November 17.

ltogether some 150 EU Observers will be in place on Election Day. This is a major commitment to Bangladesh’s democratic development.

The re-deployed Election Observation Mission, which consists of a Core Team of 10 election experts (including the Chief Observer), was deployed on 7 November 2008 to co-ordinate the assessment of the entire election process, according to reports.

They will be joined by 46 Long-Term Observers (LTOs) to be deployed in two stages to assess the candidate nomination process, the campaign period and pre-election preparations around the country.

Some 88 Short-Term Observers (including several observers from Norway and Switzerland operating within the EOM) will be deployed by mid-December to observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results.

It is planned that the EU EOM will remain in the country for up to 3 weeks after Election Day to observe the post-election period.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-18November08-8:27 PM (BST)