EC authorised to postpone or cancel voting at one or several centres

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina attends the cabinet meeting on Thursday.PID

The election commission (EC) has been authorised to cancel or postpone the voting at one or several centers in face of unwarranted circumstances during the election, says a provision incorporated in the amended draft of an election-related 'Representation of the People Order (RPO)'.

However, the provision doesn't include the authority to cancel or postpone the election of an entire constituency.  

The amended draft was approved at the cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office on Thursday with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Later the cabinet secretary briefed the media on the issues of the meeting at a press conference in the secretariat. 

The 12th  parliamentary election is likely to be held at the end of this year or in January next year.   

The cabinet secretary said voting at one or several centres could be cancelled or postponed at any time by the EC to avert muscle power or any other problems.  

But the EC earlier cancelled the entire by-polls in Gaibandha. When the journalists asked the cabinet secretary regarding the issue, he didn’t respond.    

Replying to another question, Mahbub Hossain said if the EC thinks there are irregularities going on in the election, then they will be allowed to cancel or postpone the elections at one or two centers.

The provision doesn’t fix the number of centres nor say anything over the postponement or cancellation of the elections of the entire constituency.