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Gaibandha by-polls in 2nd week of January

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 6 December, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The Gaibandha-5 by-election which was postponed due to massive electoral irregularities will be held in the second week of January.

Election Commissioner Rasheda Sultana announced the fresh poll schedule at a press briefing at the EC Secretariat in Agargaon of the capital on Monday.

“Gaibandha by-election will be held in the second week of January. No one guilty in the previous election shall be in charge of the new election. If it is not possible from that area, the presiding officer will be bought from anywhere in the country,” she said.

The EC postponed the polls midway after observing irregularities in one-third of the centres in the constituency on October 12.          Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal formed a three-member investigation committee to identify those who were involved in the irregularities.

On 1 December, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal said action will be taken against 134 polling officials for the reported irregularities and negligence in duties during the Gaibandha-5 by-polls.

Of them, one is an additional deputy commissioner (overall), one executive magistrate, 126 presiding officers and five sub-inspectors (SI).

Habibul Awal said the list of people involved in irregularities will be sent to the respective employing authorities as per section-5 of the Election Officers (Special Law) Act, 1991.

According to Public Service Act 2018, the employing authority can punish any employee convicted, with the minimum penalty of rebuke and removal from service as a major penalty.

In consideration of the offence, the appointing authority may impose any penalty including suspension of promotion for a specified period, demotion in pay scale, realising compensation in case of loss of public money or property due to negligence in duties, forced retirement, and removal from service.

People who discharged their duties as agents of candidates will be identified in future and action will be taken against them accordingly, he also said.

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

Following the death of Gaibandha-5 lawmaker and Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah on 22 July 2022, it became a constitutional obligation to hold an election for the vacant parliamentary seat by 20 October this year.