EC postpones polls to 163 UPs due to Covid | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 11, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:34 AM, June 11, 2021

EC postpones polls to 163 UPs due to Covid

By-election to three JS seats deferred

The Election Commission has postponed polls to 163 union parishads in Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira, Noakhali, Chattogram and Cox's Bazar districts due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The election to the rest of 204 union parishads and by-polls to Laxmipur-2 constituency will be held as per schedule on June 21, EC Secretary Humayun Kabir Khandakar said.

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He made the statement after a commission meeting yesterday.

The commission has also decided to withhold elections to nine municipalities, he said.

The by-polls to Dhaka-14, Cumilla-5 and Sylhet-3 constituencies have been rescheduled to July 28 from July 14.

After receiving reports from local administrations, regional election officials and recommendations of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), the EC has decided to postpone the elections, the EC secretary said.

Humayun Kabir Khandakar said they were going to hold the by-polls to parliamentary constituencies due to constitutional obligations.

He also said that they were going to hold elections to rest 204 union parishads as the Covid-19 transmission rate was low at the places.

Asked about how they defined low or high Covid-19 rates, he said they were not going to hold the election in 163 union parishads that were situated in the high transmission rate given by IEDCR.

Humayun, however, did not answer questions regarding who would take responsibilities if the Covid-19 transmission rate increased in those voting areas.

On June 21, the EC decided to hold all postponed elections, including the by-polls to Laxmipur-2, the first phase of union parishad, and the sixth phase of municipality polls.

The same day the EC also announced the schedule for the by-polls to Sylhet-3, Dhaka-14, and Cumilla-5 constituencies, slating the voting date on July 14.

On March 3, the EC announced the schedule for by-polls to Laxmipur-2 constituency, polls to 371 union parishads and 11 municipalities, slating the election date on April 11.

On April 1, the commission postponed all the elections due to the Covid-19 situation.

According to the constitution, by-elections to fill the vacant seat of a member of parliament should be held within 90 days. Provided that in a case where, in the opinion of the CEC, it is not possible, for reasons of an act of God, to hold such election within 90 days period.

On February 22, the parliament secretariat issued a gazette notification announcing that Laxmipur-2 fell vacant because of Mohammad Shahid Islam, also known as Kazi Papul's moral turpitude.

The gazette has been in effect since January 28 when Papul was sentenced to four years of rigorous imprisonment by a Kuwait court.

Sylhet-3 seat fell vacant following Awami League MP Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury's death on March 11, Dhaka-14 following AL MP Aslamul Hoque's death on April 4, and Cumilla-5 fell vacant after AL MP Abdul Matin Khasru's death on April 14.

 

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