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Decision on Gaibandha-5 polls in 7 days: CEC

Published : 05 Nov 2022 09:56 PM | Updated : 06 Nov 2022 03:51 PM

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.

 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 October 12.

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

 While there was no concrete decision over if a new election will be held, pending an investigation into malpractices on the election day, 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 July 22, 2022, it became a constitutional obligation to hold election for the parliamentary seat by October 20, 2022.

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