Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | ePaper

EC letters to parties

Dos & don'ts for polls candidates

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Special Correspondent :
Political parties willing to contest in the December 23 Parliamentary polls under any of the alliances have been asked to inform the Election Commission (EC) in writing within next three days.
 "EC is preparing letters to this effect for sending those to all the political parties by Friday," EC Secrtetary Helaluddin Ahmad told reporters at his office.
The EC has announced the election schedule on Thursday.
Helaluddin Ahmad called for cooperation of all of the candidates for holding a free and fair election, saying the EC has restricted all kinds of campaign by legislative aspirants until allocation of election symbols.
He said the EC has also directed all the intending candidates to remove posters, banners and other visible means of campaign in their favour by November 14.
 "Candidates could carry out campaign in compliance with the 'Election Code of Conduct' from December 1 to 21 after allocation of election symbol," he said, adding the EC

would allocate symbol on November 30.
According to schedule, the last date of submission of nomination papers is November 19, scrutiny of nomination papers to check validity on November 22 and the last date of withdrawal of nominations November 29.
Secretary Helaluddin said the EC has limits the cost per voter for election campaign in favour of a candidate under the Representation of People Order 1972 (Article-44B, Clause-3).
 "Per voter cost of campaign by a candidate shall limit at maximum Tk. 10. Candidates could not entertain any of the voters. A candidate's total cost shall not cross the limit of Tk. 25 lakh in one constituency," he said.
He said the EC has already issued circular appointing Divisional Commissioners at cities and Deputy Commissioners at districts as Returning Officer and Upazila Nirbahi Officers and Senior Election Officers as Assistant Returning Officer.
According to EC Secretariat, the total number of voters stood 10 crore 41 lakh. Of the total voters, Female 5,16,43,151 (five crore sixteen lakh forty three thousand one hundred and fifty one) and Male 5,25,47,329 (five crore twenty five lakh forty seven thousand three hundred and twenty nine).  
The EC Secretary said new voters who were enlisted until announcement of election schedule will be added to total voters.  
According to EC rules, there is no scope of correction and transfer of voter and enlistment of new voters after announcement of election schedule, he said. Helaluddin Ahmad said Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, activists and supporters could participate in the Parliamentary polls as independent candidate or using symbol of any of the registered political parties.  He said the 2013 amendment to Representation of People Order (RPO) 1972 scraping of the provision 'having minimum three year membership in a political party for those wanted to be a legislative candidate' extends this opportunity.
 "According to the existing laws of the country, there is no way to stop them from taking part in the election. Jamaat-e-Islami men could participate in elections as independent candidate. They could also take part in election using symbol of other party. In that case, he or she must obtain nomination from concerned political party," Helaluddin said.
Jamaat lost registration as a political party in light of a court directive. As result, the party could not take part in the election with its own symbol (Daripalla).
Helaluddin said members of any of the unregistered political party could also float candidature as independent candidate. He said this opportunity is also open for an ordinary citizen fulfils criterions to be a candidate.

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