Decision on Gaibandha-5 polls in 7 days: CEC

CEC Kazi Habibul Awal
File photo

Chief election commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal said on Saturday that a comprehensive decision will be taken within seven days after a full investigation involving the cancellation of voting at Gaibandha-5 parliamentary seat, reports UNB.

He said that the initial investigation by a committee appointed by the election commission was partial, and they need a full investigation to reach a final decision.

The CEC made the remarks in response to reporters' questions while monitoring the by-election vote in Faridpur-2 constituency on Saturday morning.

Awal said that the EC has only observed 51 closed centres, while a committee has been constituted to analyse the remaining 94 centres' CCTV footage at Gaibandha-5.

"They will report within seven days. Then a coordinated decision will be taken," he said.

EC's additional secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath, who headed the committee, submitted the report to EC secretary Humayun Kabir Khandaker.

The EC suspended the election because of "widespread malpractices" on the election day on 12 October.

It also extended the deadline for holding any fresh election to the Gaibandha-5 parliamentary seat by three months, or till 20 January, 2023.

While there was no concrete decision over if a new election will be held, the EC said that the deadline has been extended to follow the rule of 90 days in holding an election after a seat falls vacant.

Following the death of Gaibandha-5 lawmaker and deputy speaker of the parliament Fazle Rabbi Miah on 22 July, 2022, it became a constitutional obligation to hold election for the parliamentary seat by 20 October, 2022.