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18 November, 2017 12:02:28 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 November, 2017 11:50:15 AM
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Draft law after studying voter list: EC

delimitation of JS seats
HARUN UR RASHID
Draft law after studying 
voter list: EC

The Election Commission (EC) will finalise the draft law of delimitation of parliamentary constituencies, after getting information about the complete voter list from the National Identity Registration Wing (NIDW). EC sources said the sub-committee on delimitation is facing some legal problems while making changes in the demarcation of the constituencies on the basis of population, voters and administrative integrity. The sources said delimitation was done in the past on the basis of population. But now they are facing problems as the population is increasing in urban areas, while it is decreasing in the rural ones. Sources said the number of constituencies would decrease in the rural areas if the demarcation is made on the basis of density of population only. So, reforms are necessary in the existing delimitation law to reduce discrimination between rural and urban constituencies.

As a result, the sub-committee has recently sent a letter to the NIDW to provide information about the voter list on the basis of each union, ward, upazila and constituency for the purpose of upgrading the delimitation law. After obtaining the information, the EC would analyse it and then send the final draft law to the government for formulating it into law.

However, EC sources said there would not be massive changes in the amended law of delimitation. The joint secretary (law) of the Election Commission, Md Shahjahan, said the delimitation law has to be amended for modernisation, as the density of population and voters have changed in rural and urban areas.

“Some problems have evolved while working on it. The number of constituencies increases in Dhaka, Gazipur and Chittagong districts when the integrity of the upazila, population, voter and area are taken into consideration. So, the seats in rural areas will naturally decrease,” he said.

“Such problems arose before the sub-committee at its first meeting. So, a letter has been issued to the NIDW to send information about the voter list of each union, ward and upazila. The draft would be finalised after scrutinising the information,” he added.

EC sources said they would delimit the constituencies by considering the population, total area and the voter list, so that the discrimination between rural and urban areas does not create any problem in future.

Besides, the sources said there is the necessity of delimitation in those constitutional constituencies like Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Panchagarh where there were enclaves which are now defunct.

As the areas of the defunct enclaves have been added to the new administrative areas, this would be added to the adjacent constituencies.

EC sources said in 2008, the Shamsul Huda-led commission had made huge changes in 133 out of 300 parliamentary constituencies, which led to the increase of constituencies in Dhaka district and the constituencies decreased in the rural areas. It was done on the basis of population.

Now, the current Nurul Huda-led commission wants a balance between the rural and urban constituencies, but how it would be done has created some problems for it.

EC sources said the commission wants to make the law of delimitation in such a way so that it does not create any problems in future. The commission would take certain steps in some districts so that seats of Parliament do not increase or decrease, they added.

As per the current EC’s roadmap, it has taken the agenda for making new laws for the 300 constituencies of Parliament before the next general election. The commission formed a committee, led by Election Commissioner Kabita Khanam, to review the existing laws on delimitation.

The committee formed a sub-committee to review the law. When the sub-committee held its meeting last Wednesday, it found several inconsistencies. The meeting decided that they would scrutinise the voter list of each ward, union, upazila and parliamentary constituency and so sent a letter to the NIDW.

As per the EC’s roadmap, a gazette would be published after finalising delimitation of the 300 constituencies.

While holding dialogue with various stakeholders, such as civil society members, media personalities, political parties and election experts, various proposals on delimitation were put forth. Many said delimitation is a difficult matter and the commission should proceed on it carefully.


IK

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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