The Election Commission is going to hold by-elections to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies today amid the coronavirus outbreak and boycott by main opposition the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
The commission is holding the polls saying that there was no alternative as there was a constitutional obligation of filling the vacant seat of a member of parliament within 180 days.
Besides, BNP boycotted the by-polls demanding that the elections should be held after the COVID-19 and flood situations become normal.
The party also urged the commission not to include its electoral symbol in the ballot paper, though the EC said that there was no such scope for any party as the law does not allow them to quit the race after symbol allocation.
The by-elections to the constituencies are scheduled on July 14, which initially was scheduled for March 29 and postponed after allocating electoral symbols among the valid candidates following the outbreak of coronavirus.
On July 4, EC decided to hold the by-elections to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 parliamentary constituencies on July 14.
About the polls, EC secretary M Alamgir said that all the election-related activates would be carried out maintaining social distancing rule to prevent a further spread of COVID-19.
On March 21, the EC postponed the elections of the constituencies along with the Chattogram City Corporation polls because of the coronavirus.
The EC postponed the polls after it faced huge criticisms for holding the polls in Dhaka-10, Gaibandha-3 and Bagerhat-4 constituencies on March 21 amid the pandemic.
About the BNP’s demand of dropping its electoral symbol from the ballot, EC secretary M Alamgir told New Age that the commission announced the polling data after getting suggestions from the president and law ministry.
‘That is true, it’s a tough time to hold a poll, but we have no alternative to it,’ he added.
According to the EC, before the polls were suspended, in Bogura-1, the electoral symbols were allocated among the candidates after candidacy of nominees of Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party, Progressive Democratic Party, Bangladesh Khilafat Andolan and an independent candidate were found valid.
There were 3,30,893 voters in the constancy.
Jashore-6, candidates of AL, BNP and JP were allocated electoral symbols.
There were 2,03,018 voters in the constancy.
The Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies fell vacant following the death of Awami League lawmakers Abdul Mannan and Ismat Ara Sadique.
Abdul Mannan died on January 18 and Ismat Ara on January 21.
There is a constitutional obligation that the by-poll should be held within 180 days a constituency falls vacant.
The Election Commission announced public holiday in the electoral area for the voting day.
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