Voting in the by-election for Gaibandha-5 constituency, which was suspended due to irregularities, is underway with participation of voters in a festive mood. Voting started at 8 am and will continue till 4:30 pm. No untoward incident was reported till the filing of this report around 10 am. People were seen standing in long queues since morning, ignoring the cold. The presence of female voters is comparatively higher than their male counterparts. A total of 3,39,743 people are expected to exercise their franchise in 145 polling centres. Of them, 1,70,160 are females and 1,69,583 are male. District Election Officer and Returning officer Abdul Motaleb said that of the 145 polling centres, 72 are consider "important" while 32 are counted as "most important". Read: EC has 'no legal obligation' to bring parties to election All preparations have been taken to hold a smooth, free and fair election, he said. Elections will be monitored through CCTV cameras as done before. Rab, police, BGB and Ansar members will remain deployed to hold the election peacefully, said Motaleb. The candidates of the Gaibandha-5 by-election are: Awami League candidate Mahmud Hasan Ripon, Jatiya Party candidate AHM Golam Shaheed Ranju, Bikalpa Dhara candidate Advocate Jahangir Alam and independent candidate Syed Mahbubur Rahman. The constituency consists of Saghata and Phulchhari upazilas. On October 12 last year, the Election Commission (EC) suspended the by-election due to “rampant irregularities” on the election day and later the commission fixed January 4 for holding the polls. Following the death of Gaibandha-5 lawmaker and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Fazle Rabbi Miah on July 22, 2022, it became a constitutional obligation to hold election for the parliamentary seat by October 20, 2022. Accordingly it was scheduled for October 12. A three-member committee was formed to look into the election irregularities on October 12 last year. Following the recommendations of the committee, the Election Commission took punitive actions against 133 officials including an additional deputy commissioner, five sub-inspectors and returning officer of the election. Read More: EC to delve into slow voting complaint in Rangpur City Corporation Polls
Election Commissioner Anisur Rahman has said the Election Commission has no legal obligation to convince any party which does not want to participate in the election otherwise. He made this comment in response to the questions of journalists at the Election Building on Sunday.. "The Chief Election Commissioner also said last week that it is not our responsibility to bring anyone to the polls," Anisur said."It is not the responsibility of any party or anyone to get elected. We have called, hoping they will come." Read: Election violence under present EC drops to zero: CEC This commissioner also said that they will do whatever is necessary to create a suitable environment for the election, after that if no one comes there is no legal obligation to bring them. "We will not do that. They will do their work. We will do our work. We will try to say that we want participatory elections. Hope that there will be participatory elections," he said. He said the BNP has not supported them since day one. "Let them take part in the polls and say that the election is not fair," Read: No new dialogue possible with BNP or any other party: CEC "There is no such thing as an end in politics. We made Rangpur City elections fair during the party government. We have shown that fair elections are possible under the party government," he added. Anisur said that it is desirable that the party will join the election. "They have not even participated in an election under us. Let the participants say that the vote was not fair."
Election Commissioner Md. Alamgir on Monday said the Election Commission (EC) is not using CC cameras in the by-elections of the vacant five parliamentary seats left by BNP MPs' resignations due to lack of budget. He said this in his office at the election building to the reporters. "There is no budget for installing CCTV cameras in this election. Installation of CC cameras is not possible with Annual Development Programme(ADP) allocation. ADP money can be spent on projects. For CC cameras, money has to be allocated from the revenue sector," he said. Saying 'CC cameras are not a solution' Commissioner Alamgir said the Election Commission (EC) does not see any need for this device. Many elections did not have CCTV cameras, yet no incidents occurred. Read more: By-elections to 5 vacant seats of BNP MPs on Feb 1, 2023 "Polls for five seats will be competitive. It will have balance. As a result, there will be no need for CC cameras," he added. The commissioner also said that the commission can meet and take a decision if necessary to use it as there is plenty of time for selection. By-elections to the five parliamentary seats, left vacant after BNP MPs resigned, will be held on February 1, 2023. EC will conduct the by-polls to parliamentary seats -- Thakurgaon-3, Bogura-4, Bogura-6, Chapainawabganj-2 and Brahmanbaria-2. The EC secretary said candidates can submit their nomination papers till January 5. Returning officers will scrutinize the nomination papers on January 8 and January 15 has been set as the last date for withdrawal of candidature. On December 11, five out of seven BNP members of the parliament (MPs) submitted their resignation to Speaker of Parliament Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, as part of their anti-government movement with a 10-point demand that includes dissolution of parliament. The MPs who resigned were: Md. Zahidur Rahman, Thakurgaon-3; Md. Mosharof Hosen, Bogura-4; Gulam Mohammad Siraj, Bogura-6; Md. Aminul Islam, Chapainawabganj-2; and Rumeen Farhana, from women’s reserved seats. Read more: Democratic practice won't develop without electoral competition: CEC Md. Harunur Rashid of Chapainawabganj-3, who is now in Australia and the ailing MP of Brahmanbaria-2 Abdus Sattar Bhuiyan could not submit their resignations to the Speaker in person. The seven MPs sent their resignations through email on the same day. The Parliament Secretariat published a gazette notification announcing the parliamentary seats as vacant after their resignation.
The Election Commission will publish the draft of an updated voter list on January 15. According to a letter sent to all election officers at local level on Monday, the date has been delayed 13 days from the usual date of January 2 for publishing the voter list. The letter signed by Assistant Secretary of Election Commissioner Md Mosharraf Hossain, said the upazila level election officers will publish the voter list of respective areas on January 15. The decision of renewing the voter list was taken immediately after Kazi Habibul Awal was appointed as Chief Election Commissioner on February 26 this year. Read more: 5 BNP MPs’ resignation: Election to vacant seats within 90 days, EC says After 2019, the updating of voters’ lists began this year by collecting information from every house for three weeks. Inclusion of new voters, exclusion of deceased and transferring those who changed location was done during the process. Information of those who were born before January 1, 2007, and are eligible to become voters was collected. After that photo, fingerprint and iris identification information were collected at designated registration centers. Read more: Next general election to be held first week of 2024: PM Hasina announces at Cox’s Bazar rally After resolving the objections about the draft list the final list will be published in March next year and the enlisted voters will be eligible to vote for 12th parliamentary election. Currently there are 11,32,87,010 voters in the country and of them 5,76,89,529 are men 5,55,97,027 women and 454 are transgender.
Election Commissioner Md Alamgir said on Sunday that elections to seats left vacant, after 5 BNP MPs resigned, will be held within 90 days as per the constitution. He came up with the remark while speaking with journalists at his office in Election Commission Bhaban in Dhaka, after news of resignation of five BNP MPs emerged. “We are yet to get a gazette of the vacant seats. If they (BNP MPs) truly resigned, the election to vacant seats will be held within 90 days,” he said, adding that the gazette will be circulated after the Speaker or Deputy Speaker receives the resignation letters. EC Commissioner Alamgir said there is a constitutional obligation to hold elections for the vacant seats within 90 days after seats get vacated. Read more: 5 parliamentary seats now vacant after BNP MPs’ resignation: Speaker Asked about the resignation of the BNP MPs, he said they saw the matter as normal and an MP can resign. “It is narrated in the constitution, how the resignation can go, here the EC has nothing to gain or lose,” he said. Earlier today, five out of seven BNP members of the parliament (MPs) submitted their resignation to Speaker of the Parliament Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, as part of their anti-government movement with a 10-point demand that includes dissolution of parliament. The BNP MPs submitted their resignation letters at 12:20 pm. The MPs who resigned are: Md. Zahidur Rahman, Thakurgaon-3; Md. Mosharof Hosen, Bogura-4; Gulam Mohammad Siraj, Bogura-6; Md. Aminul Islam, Chapainawabganj-2 and Rumeen Farhana, from women’s reserved seats. Read more: 5 BNP MPs submit resignation to JS Speaker Md. Harunur Rashid of Chapainawabganj-3, who is now in Australia and ailing MP of Brahmanbaria-2 Abdus Sattar Bhuiyan could not submit resignation to the Speaker today. Earlier, Rumeen Farhana announced the decision from the party’s Golapbagh rally on Saturday. The MPs sent their resignation through an email on Saturday. BNP on Saturday unveiled a 10-point charter of demands from Golapbagh rally aimed at unseating the government through a simultaneous movement.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal on Thursday said the Election Commission will take action against 133 officials for their negligence in duty during Gaibandha-5 by-election. The CEC made the remark during a briefing at the Election Commission building in Dhaka. Gaibandha-5 by-election was suspended amid allegations of “malpractices” on October 12 this year. “A returning officer conducts the whole election. It his routine duty to visit the polling centres as many times as possible. But he neglected his duties. He visited the centres with Deputy Commissioners and Police Supers when the CEC informed him about the irregularities over telephone,” he said. He also said the returning officer was supposed to visit and check to ensure that all activities were being carried out according to law and take immediate initiative to prevent any unwanted incident. “But he absolutely failed to perform their duties. He did not find any irregularities in the electoral area. When the CEC was about to take the decision to suspend the election, the returning officer suspended the voting of a centre to demonstrate his performance,” he said. Read more: Gaibandha-5 by-election: Wait for a decision, says CEC Had he performed his duties properly, it would have been possible to prevent the irregularities in the early stage, CEC Awal said. The CEC also said that the EC Secretary has been instructed to take action against the accused returning officer. Gaibandha-5 by election will be held in due time according to the constitution, he added. Earlier, the CEC extended the deadline for holding the Gaibandha-5 polls till January 30. According to the constitution, if any constituency falls vacant then the position must be filled within 90 days through an election. Read more: 'Gaibandha by-election was an isolated case': Election Commissioner Following the death of Gaibandha-5 lawmaker and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Fazle Rabbi Miah on July 22, 2022, it became a constitutional obligation to hold election for the parliamentary seat by October 20, 2022. But the EC cancelled the election because of “widespread malpractices” on the election day on October 12.
The Election Commission (EC) has enrolled more voters than the number estimated in the voter list update programme during a countrywide campaign, including door-to-door visits. This would be the last registration process for prospective voters before the 12th parliamentary election. Enumerators of the EC visited households to complete the update in four phases starting from May 20 to November 20 this year following the terms of Section 11 of the Electoral Rolls Act 2009 Voter List Update Programme. The progress rate of the voter registration process is 8.59 percent, the commission said. The EC officials said 9,870,970 people have completed the registration process in the update programme, 1,255,233 more than the estimated number. Registration of 4,778,003 women, 5,092,716 men, and 251 third-gender people has been completed. The names of 1,709,321 people were removed from the voters' list after verification of the necessary documents, the commission said. The EC collected data about citizens born on or after January 1, 2005, January 1, 2006, and January 1, 2007. These people would gradually be included in the voter list when they turn 18. The cost of the voter list update programme this year has been estimated at Tk106.64 crore, which is Tk26 crore more than the previous time. Read more: Election Commission The EC will publish the final and updated list of voters on National Voters' Day on March 2 next year. The voter list was updated five times since the creation of the voter list with photos in 2007-2008. The polling authority now has information about more than 11.32 crore voters. Among them, there are 57,689,529 male voters and 55,597,027 female and 454 third-gender voters. Read more: Election Commission won’t favour any political party: Anisur Rahman
EC Secretary Md Jahangir Alam today announced the detailed schedule of Rangpur City Corporation election -- to be held on December 27 -- at the Election Commission Secretariat. The election date was finalised at a meeting of the Election Commission (EC) with Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal in the chair earlier. The EC secretary said candidates can submit their nomination papers to the returning officer and assistant returning officer till November 29. Returning officer will scrutinize the nomination papers on November 29 and December 1. December 8 has been set as the final date for withdrawal of candidature. Earlier, he said the Election Commission also decided to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) and CCTV cameras in the election. Read more: Rangpur city election on December 27 Voting will start at 8:30 am and continue till 4:30 pm without any break. Director General of Election Training Institute Abdul Baten will serve as the returning officer of Rangpur City Election. A total of 3,93,994 voters will cast their votes at 193 centres to elect the Rangpur mayor, 27 general ward councillors and 11 reserved ward councillors. The election to the city corporation was held on December 21, 2017. The first meeting was held on February 19, 2017. The tenure will end after five years of the first meeting. The meeting also held an elaborate discussion on different local government elections and by-elections in vacant posts. The EC also decided to hold elections to five municipalities and a number of union parishads on December 29. Read more: Thousands gather in Rangpur city to join BNP’s anti-govt rally The EC secretary said the candidates can submit their nomination papers to the returning officer and assistant returning officer till December 1. Returning Officer will scrutinize the nomination papers on December 3. December 10 has been set as the final date of withdrawal of candidature. He also added that the Election Commission also decided to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) and CCTV cameras in the union level election.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on Saturday asked deputy commissioners and superintendents of police to be aware of their duties to deal with any intimidation in the next general elections expected to be held late next year or in the beginning of 2024. “If any illegal interferences in the election are not handled with an iron hand, that’s not an election, that’s a farce,” he said. Read: EC to sit with DCs, SPs ahead of election “This could have a serious negative impact on the next election. You must be accountable. So, in the future, you will exercise all the necessary powers to successfully conduct each election,” he said. His statement came when the Election Commission held a meeting with deputy commissioners and superintendents of police from across the country on Saturday to discuss issues related to next general elections. The meeting was crucial to build up momentum ahead of the next national elections amid threats by BNP and its allies that they will not take part in the elections under a partisan government. But the government has been arguing that there is no such provision in the constitution of returning to a controversial caretaker government system to oversee the elections. The previous caretaker government system was nullified through the 15th amendment to the constitution in 2011 after the Supreme Court struck down the 13th amendment that had introduced the system in 1996. On Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all political parties to join the national elections. Saturday’s meeting was held at the auditorium of the Election Commission in the capital city, Dhaka. The CEC in the meeting said that a stricter stand by the DCs and the SPs would reinforce the people’s interest and trust in the electoral process, encouraging them to exercise their voting rights. Next elections to local government bodies also came up in the discussion. The CEC reminded the DCs and SPs of avoiding their own political ideologies when they play their role. “You are public servants,” he said. Read EVMs in 150 constituencies: EC finalises Tk 8,711cr project "You will have to be neutral in your position. You must follow your duty according to the laws of the land. This is the expectation of the people. You have to earn trust by fulfilling the expectations of the people with the application of all rules and regulations," he added. The CEC also said it is not the issue of the Election Commission to resolve disputes among bickering political parties. “The EC cannot interfere in the political decisions as the constitution, laws and rules have set our scope of work, power and responsibilities. Political problems should be settled politically,” he said. He also said the DCs and SPs must understand the importance of forming new national government and local government bodies through elections in a democratic system. He said that the EC has proof that it is easier to control violence, rigging in polls by using Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). “We have decided to use EVMs in not more than 150 seats but we will have preparation to hold elections through ballot paper in all seats if needed,” said CEC. In the 12th National Parliamentary Election, votes will be cast in 42-45,000 centres simultaneously in one day which is not an easy task but not impossible, he added. Other election commissioners and top officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Additional IGP attended the meeting.
The Election Commission (EC) today approved a Tk 8,711 crore project to procure Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for 150 constituencies, out of 300, for the 12th parliamentary election. The project details will soon be sent to the Planning Commission for approval, Election Commissioner Md Alamgir said in a press briefing. Earlier, the project was approved in a meeting of the commission. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal, who recently tested positive for Covid-19, joined the meeting virtually. Read: Jatiya Party to shun alliances at next election: GM Quader EC Alamgir said, “The commission earlier decided to use EVMs in 150 constituencies, in the next general election, but 1.5 lakh machines we currently have can be used in highest 70 to 80 constituencies.” So, the project was approved to procure and maintain new EVMs, he said. The Election Commission unveiled roadmap for next the general election at a function held at the auditorium of the Nirbachan Bhaban on Wednesday. Read: Next national election by Jan 29, 2024; EVMs to be used in 150 constituencies On August 23, the EC decided to use electronic voting machines instead of traditional ballot papers in maximum 150 constituencies in the next general election – likely to be held late next year. The decision received strong opposition from BNP and its allies, who didn’t join the talks with the CEC that continued throughout the month of July. However, the ruling Awami League welcomed the decision as it was their demand to use EVMs in all 300 seats in the next election. Read AL in favour of using EVMs in national election: Quader Earlier, the commission had invited 39 political parties registered with it for talks on the use of electronic voting machines; 28 political parties responded to the commission’s invitations while 11 parties, including BNP, rejected it.