The law ministry has approved the amendment proposal regarding the power to annul the vote in the Representation of the People Order (RPO). In that case, the Election Commission (EC) is going to get the power to cancel the election even after the election results have been published after someone has won the election due to irregularities.
Election Commissioner Rasheda Sultana gave this information in response to questions from journalists at the Agargaon election building in the capital today.
He said, ‘Even if there are irregularities in the election, the RPO does not have the power to do anything after the results are gazetted. We proposed the amendment to get this power of the commission. In this case, the commission will have the power to close the poll even after the results are announced. But they said that 91 is being covered. But as far as we know 91 does not actually cover. We presented that argument to them.’
Referring to an incident in Durgapur, Mymensingh, this commissioner said, ‘A file came a few days after I joined. I saw that in an election in Durgapur, the ballot had probably been stolen. Then the commission canceled the vote after being gazetted. But the High Court said that the commission has nothing to do after the gazette. We proposed that the power should be in the hands of the commission. When they asked, we explained this incident.’
EC Rasheda said, ‘After the gazette, the tribunal. No one can go to the tribunal before it is gazetted. When one loses, he can resort to law. That is his right. Then the court asked the commission for the ballot, but it was not recovered. When did it go to whom? So how to give the court what is not recovered. In this case, the commission will have nothing to do.
If such a situation comes forward, the commission should have a power to stop the election. Because he who feels deprived has no room for compensation. For this reason, we felt the need to bring amendments.’
Those who were in the meeting of the Law Ministry expressed their satisfaction with the Election Commission’s justification and said, “They said, there is no more difficulty.” Now will go to the cabinet. It will be passed in parliament. This is what they will send. Vetting is no longer missing.’
The Commissioner said that the law ministry asked to think more about two areas, “One of them is – I wanted to determine the use of fingerprints of the presiding officer in voting for 1 percent of the voters if the fingerprints are not found in the EVM.” Let it come into law not to allow more than one per cent. They (representatives of the Ministry of Law) said that it could be covered by regulations. On this one point they objected.’
In response to another question, the commissioner said, ‘In every election, we will tell how many percent of voters’ fingerprints do not match, and the presiding officer can use his fingerprints to open the ballot unit of the EVM. Because, those who do not have fingers should be given the opportunity to vote.
‘But we won’t give anything like that, 1 per cent is a justified number. shall be determined by rule before every election. Many complain that 5 percent has been given in the past. So if you give a justified number no one can talk about it. So we wanted to pay 1 percent.’
In response to another question, he said, ‘We have not moved away from the decision due to the objection of the ministry. We can issue circulars before every vote. When the commission issues a circular it is also a law. We can’t get it in UPIO anymore, but we can do it with the rules. We did it earlier with the circular. A certificate must be given.’