EC to hold 2 by-polls on July 14 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 05, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:24 AM, July 05, 2020

EC to hold 2 by-polls on July 14

Cites constitutional obligation; ignores fears of virus spread

The Election Commission has decided to hold by-elections to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies on July 14 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It said the decision was made to fulfil the constitutional obligation of filling the vacant seat of a member of parliament within 180 days.

The decision came during a commission meeting, EC senior secretary Md Alamgir told The Daily Star after the meeting yesterday.

According to the constitution, an election to fill the seat of a Member of Parliament which falls vacant otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of Parliament shall be held within 19 days of the occurrence of the vacancy.

"Provided that in a case where, in the opinion of the Chief Election Commissioner, it is not possible, for reasons of an act of God, to hold such election within the period specified in this clause, such election shall be held within ninety days following next after the last day of such period," said the constitution.

The maximum 180-day time limit for Bogura-1 will end on July 15 and for Jashore-6 on July 18, Alamgir added.

He said they would hold the election using ballot paper by strictly following the health directives to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"We will let all know the details about health safety measures soon," Alamgir said.

He made the comments as many raised concern about the further spread of the virus mentioning that Sadullapur area of Gaibandha was put under lockdown as two voters allegedly attended a wedding ceremony after casting vote in a by-polls on March 21.

The EC in February announced that by-elections to these two constituencies will be held on March 29. But it was later postponed considering the coronavirus situation in the country.

The Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies fell vacant following the deaths of ruling party lawmakers MPs Abdul Mannan and Ismat Ara Sadique respectively.

Alamgir said that candidates who have collected and submitted nomination paper for by-polls to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies earlier would be eligible to contest in the July 14 election.

The decision regarding holding the by-polls to Sirajganj-1, Dhaka-5 and Pabna-4, which fell vacant in recent times after the demises of lawmakers Mohammad Nasim, Habibur Rahman Mollah and Shamsur Rahman Sherif, would be taken later, he also said.

Election Commission also postponed the Chattogram City Corporation election scheduled for March 29 for an indefinite period due to coronavirus.

Alamgir said that commission would decide about the city corporation election later as there was no constitutional binding in this regard. 


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