Friday, 9 June, 2023

Cabinet approves draft RPO

The Cabinet today approved the draft of Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2023 allowing the Election Commission (EC) to postpone or cancel elections of one or several centres anytime if irregularities are found.

However, the provision will not allow the authority to cancel or postpone the election of an entire constituency.

Cabinet Secretary Md. Mahbub Hossain told reporters in a press conference at the Bangladesh Secretariat after the cabinet meeting.

The meeting was held at Prime Minister's Office with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The cabinet secretary said as per the draft law, if a returning officer declares a candidate's nomination paper valid, anyone can file an appeal against that decision.

But in the existing act, candidates could only appeal if the returning officer cancelled their nomination paper, he said.

Mahbub Hossain said candidates need to pay bills seven days before submitting nomination papers in the existing act.

In the draft law, candidates will get scopes to pay copies of bills till one day before submitting nomination papers, he said.

The cabinet secretary said candidates will also have to submit TIN certificate and evidence of income tax return submission with their nomination paper.

There is a provision of minimum two years and maximum seven years imprisonment for obstructing the works of journalists and observers in the proposed RPO (Amendment) Act, he said.

The deadline, he said, for submitting the constitutions of political parties has been extended to 2030, which was 2020 in existing law.

The cabinet also approved the draft of the Secured Transactions (Movable Property) Act, 2023.

He said once the law is enacted, people can get loans from banks against movable assets.

Mahbub Hossain said the Cabinet extended congratulations to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for UN recognition to her innovative Community Clinic model to reach healthcare services the doorstep of common people through establishing Community Clinic across the country.

He said community clinic is a unique initiative of Sheikh Hasina which attained local and international accolades.