The Election Commission has decided to hold by-polls to five parliamentary constituencies, which fell vacant following the resignation of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) lawmakers, on February 1.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the commission on Sunday at the Election Commission Secretariat with Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal in the chair.
Emerging from the meeting, EC Secretary Jahangir Alam told reporters that the EC decided to hold the by-polls to five constituencies through EVMs. Voting will be held from 8:30am to 4:30pm without any break, he said. Asked over installing CCTV cameras, he said the decision on installation of CCTV cameras to monitor the polls would be made later.
The last date for submitting nomination paper is January 5 while scrutiny of the nomination paper will be held on January 8 and the last date for withdrawing the nomination paper is January 15, according to the schedule disclosed by the EC. The decision over the reserved seat will be made after the by-polls to the five constituencies.
Earlier on December 10, BNP MPs at a rally announced that they would resign from parliament. BNP’s International Affairs Secretary Rumeen Farhana announced the decision from the party’s Dhaka rally at Golapbagh playground on the day.
The move came as part of the party’s anti-government movement with a 10-point demand that includes the dissolution of parliament.
All seven BNP MPs submitted their resignation to the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Speaker on December 11. Later on the night, the Parliament Secretariat issued a gazette notification declaring the seats of six BNP lawmakers vacant.
In 1994, 147 of the 154 opposition lawmakers of Awami League, Jamaat and Jatiya Party resigned from parliament to oust the then Khaleda Zia’s government.
After a parliament seat gets vacant, according to the constitution of Bangladesh, by-elections have to be held for that seat within 90 days.