The authority concerned announced the polls schedule for Dhaka University Central Students' Union (DUCSU) on Monday, finalising March 11 for holding the much-awaited election.
Chief Returning Officer Prof Masudur Rahman came up with the announcement in a press conference at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban on DU campus.
Voters (students) will be able to exercise their rights of balloting from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on March 11 at polling centres inside the halls. Voters will have to carry and show their valid ID card.
According to the election schedule, the draft voter list will be published on February 11, and the final voter list on March 3, Prof Rahman said at the press meet.
Any objection regarding the draft voter list will be taken into consideration until 4:00 pm on February 18, and the final voter list will be published on February 20.
Nomination papers will be distributed from February 19 to 25, while the last date for submission of the nomination papers is February 26 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. The nomination papers will be scrutinised from 02:00 pm, he further said.
The primary nomination list will be published on February 27, and after further scrutiny and withdrawal, the final nomination list will be published on March 03. Hall council schedule will be announced by the hall administrations, he added.
The election will be held for a total of 24 posts, including 13 executive members, in line with the DU constitution and election code of conduct. The DU vice-chancellor, who is also the DUCSU president, can bring any change, if necessary.
In the meantime, in an immediate reaction to the polls schedule, the left-leaning students' alliance 'Progotishil Chhatra Jote' brought out a procession.
They reiterated their demand to set up voting booths outside of the student halls in order to hold a credible and fair DUCSU election.
They also demanded ensuring a democratic and political influence-free environment in the students' halls, as they claimed that such an environment is not prevailing in the halls at present.
Among others, leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra Union, Bangladesh Chhatra Federation, Biplobi Chhatra Moitri etc took part in the protest rally.
Meanwhile, the student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) - Jatiyotabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) - echoed the same demands. JCD earlier handed over a memorandum to the DU VC, placing the demand of setting up voting centres outside of the halls, among others.
However, the student body of ruling Awami League - Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) - welcomed the DU authority's move, and urged it to hold the election according to the university act and election code of conduct.
DUCSU was formed a year after the university was established in 1921. The last DUCSU election was held in 1990.
The central students' union was out of election for nearly three decades mainly due to political will, although there were several attempts to hold the DUCSU polls.
But, the latest effort has come to light after a court order, following filing of appeal by some former DU students in March 2012 seeking the polls.
The High Court finally directed the DU authority on January 17 last year to take necessary measures to hold the election in six months.