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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Redrawing constituencies

Staff Correspondent

The Election Commission has said it will reconsider its decision on delimitation of parliamentary constituencies if all political parties so desire.

'We will reconsider the decision if all political parties want that, but it is our constitutional responsibility to delimit the constituencies as the 2001 Census Report has been published recently', Election commissioner Muhammed Sohul Hussain Sohul told reporters on Sunday when asked whether the commission would consider the political parties' demand not to go for delimitation.

Redrawing constituencies

Staff Correspondent

The Election Commission has said it will reconsider its decision on delimitation of parliamentary constituencies if all political parties so desire.

'We will reconsider the decision if all political parties want that, but it is our constitutional responsibility to delimit the constituencies as the 2001 Census Report has been published recently', Election commissioner Muhammed Sohul Hussain Sohul told reporters on Sunday when asked whether the commission would consider the political parties' demand not to go for delimitation.

Leaders of different political parties, including the Awami League and the BNP, have opposed the EC's move for delimitation of constituencies fearing that implementation of the electoral roadmap might be delayed if the commission went for redrawing the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies.

About the reaction of the political leaders to the EC move, Sohul said, 'We assure them that we will be able to perform the task very well using the GIS (geographical information system) and 2001 census reports which will not cause any delay in implementation of the roadmap.'

'The issue of redrawing the constituencies will be discussed with the political parties in the second round dialogue… We will not do it if they oppose,' he told reporters at his office.

About political leaders' apprehension that hundreds of litigations would be filed over delimitation which would make the polls uncertain, the election commissioner said, 'No chances… We will face the cases as soon as they are filed… And the courts will not sit back and watch such events.'

Chief election commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda at a press conference last week announced guidelines for the delimitation of the parliamentary constituencies by June.

According to the guidelines, the number of parliamentary seats for urban areas will significantly increase, particularly for city corporation areas, while rural areas are set to witness a decrease in the number of seats representing them.

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