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21 January, 2018 01:11:57 AM
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EC yet to publish delimitation draft

UNB
EC yet to publish delimitation draft

Though it was supposed to complete the delimitation process by December last as per its roadmap prepared for the next national polls, the Election Commission could not yet publish the draft delimitation of the country's 300 constituencies.

As per the roadmap unveiled in July 2017, it was supposed to publish the draft delimitation of constituencies in November 2017 and arrange public hearings on complaints regarding the draft in November and December 2017.Now the Commission wants to complete the process of delimitation of constituencies at least six months before the election as it faces difficulties to do so due to a court order over the Comilla-10 constituency, reports UNB.

This time the boundaries of some constituencies will be redrawn as a routine work as the Commission has no enough time to go for massive changes in delimitation of constituencies ahead of the 11th national election likely to be held in December next.

"The process of demarcating constituencies will have to be completed at least six months before the polls," said Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam who is the head of EC's committee over delimitation of constituency.

The High Court in March 2017 passed an order to take steps for restoration of the constituency comprising of only Nangalkot upazila in Comilla following a writ petition filed challenging the existing delimitation of Comilla-10 constituency.

In December last, the higher court also issued a contempt of court against the EC for not taking steps in this regard.

The EC has recently filed live to appeal with the Appellate Division challenging the High Court order over the Comilla-10 constituency.

Rafiqul Islam told the news agency that they face difficulties following the court order as they cannot increase the number of constituencies to 301 ones from the existing 300 ones fixed the constitution.

"So, they're waiting for the disposal of the case and will follow what the court will pass the judgment finally in this regard," he said.

If the case is not disposed of within the next soon, the Commission will take some alternative plans to complete the demarcation of constituencies at least six months before the national polls, Rafiqul Islam added. EC officials said the draft delimitation of 300 constituencies may be published in February or early March to complete the process by May next following arrangement of public hearing over claims, complaints and suggestions in this regard.

In July 2017, the EC initiated its move to prepare a new policy and enact a new law to replace the existing 'Delimitation of Constituencies Ordinance 1976' with some changes. But it has yet to complete the process.

The EC framed a draft delimitation of constituencies bill 2017 incorporating provision to consider voter size alongside population size as well as not to split Upazila during the redrawing a constituency.

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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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