Political parties getting 7 years to ensure 33% women leadership
Dhaka, March 28: The proposal to amend the Representation of the People Order (RPO) is coming up in the Cabinet today, Tuesday (March 28). In this, several amendment proposals are being made, including extending the time from 2020 to 2030 by 10 years to ensure 33 percent female leadership in all-level committees of political parties. If approved by the Cabinet, it may come up as a bill in the upcoming session of Parliament.
If the bill passes, the parties get another seven years. The 22nd session of the Parliament will be held on April 6. This information was obtained from the sources of the Ministry of Law and the Election Commission Secretariat.
The amendment proposal did not take into account the provision of mandatory issue of ballots of maximum 1 per cent of voters with fingerprints of polling officers in EC approved EVMs. However, there is a provision to empower the Election Commission to stop the election at any stage they propose.
When asked about this, Election Commission Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath said that the RPO amendment will be taken up in the Cabinet meeting. This information has been given to us through the working paper of the meeting.
It is learned that after a few years of waiting, the RPO amendment is coming up in the cabinet meeting. 15-17 clauses and sub-sections may be amended. The EC had proposed to add a provision in the RPO for issue of ballots to vote a maximum of one per cent of the electorate with fingerprints of the polling officer on the EVMs. But due to the objection of the Law Ministry, it is not in the amendment proposal. The existing practice of issuing circulars in this regard is maintained.
Apart from this, the agriculture and micro-loans and bill defaulters can be candidates only if they pay their defaulted money on the day before filing nomination papers. The existing law provides for these payments to be made seven days in advance.
Besides, Article 25 of the amendment empowers the polling officer to stop the election if there is influence of muscle power in the polling station. At the same time, there is a detailed mention of the process by which the election officer will close the election. Articles 31 and 36 clarify the provision that the ballot paper cannot be counted unless it bears the official seal and signature of the presiding officer.