Home / Bangladesh / RPO amendment reflects EC’s will: CEC

RPO amendment reflects EC’s will: CEC

The government has amended Representation of the People Order (amendment) Bill-2023 as per the proposals of the Election Commission, said chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal.

“The government shows respect to us. The amendments which we wanted those might not be accepted by the government. We find goodwill of the government in terms of accepting our proposals. Our proposals have been passed,” the CEC told reporters at a press conference at Nirbachan Bhaban in Dhaka’s Agargaon on Monday.

He said EC gets the power to cancel election results in some centers after investigating the allegations of irregularities as pert the new amendment.

“Proposals related to RPO amendment were sent to the Law Ministry 11 months ago and the bill was approved in the cabinet after scrutiny. No little change was made in the proposals. Law Ministry took opinion of EC about the amendment, particularly about Section 91 (A),” the CEC said.

The CEC said, “We wanted the power to cancel election in a polling centre or the entire constituency in case of irregularities. The government sought our opinions about cancelling the election results of those centres where there would be causes like pressure and obstacle. We agreed about this proposal as it was logical.”

EC did not make any proposal to bring change in Section 91 (A), said the CEC, adding that “The government or parliament did not bring any change in the provision. It (RPO amendment) was passed as the bill and later a gazette of the law was published.”

Explaining the reason for the press conference, Kazi Habibul Awal said, “Many statements have been made about the law in the last few months which may confuse people. All the explanations and statements which have made are not correct. That is why we want to clarify the law on behalf of the EC.”

The CEC said, “There are also criticisms that EC digs its own grave. EC wanted the power to cancel election after gazette publication of the results. Section 91 (A) has been amended. The government has amended the law for its own benefit. Clarification is needed for these criticisms.”

He claimed that the government has amended the RPO as per their proposals.

“The EC wanted to consolidate its power more and strengthen RPO through amendments. The government gave consent to it and parliament passed it. This amendment bill has increased our power,” said the CEC.