Polls code breach sees twofold rise in eight days

3 months ago 76

Violation of the electoral code of conduct has more than doubled in the last eight days compared to the previous 39 days, shows Election Commission data.

Until yesterday evening, the electoral enquiry committees, formed by the EC to probe polls irregularities, issued show-cause notices to 589 candidates and their supporters over allegations of breaching the code of conduct.

The number was 256 for the period of November 18 to December 26.

Several EC officials said about 40 percent of violators of the code of conduct are either candidates of the ruling Awami League or their supporters.

They said the highest 131 violations were reported in Dhaka region followed by Rajshahi and Cumilla regions with 103 and 81 incidents respectively.

Besides, 64 incidents took place in Mymensingh region, 59 in Khulna, 40 in Rangpur, 38 in Chattogram, 28 in Barishal, 24 in Faridpur, and 21 in Sylhet, according to the EC data.

Talking about the violation, Election Commissioner Anisur Rahman said, "Several incidents of violations [of the code of conduct] have been reported this time, but the number is less than those of the previous polls."

In many cases, clashes are taking place over previous enmities, he said.

The electoral enquiry committees were formed for each of the 300 constituencies in line with the Representation of the People Order, 1972. The law stipulates that after conducting an enquiry, the committee shall inform the EC about its findings and may make recommendations.

The commission may issue necessary orders or instructions to the person or registered political party concerned to implement the recommendation.

The EC may fine the person or the registered political party concerned Tk 20,000 to Tk 1 lakh and also cancel the candidature of an aspirant.

In line with the recommendation from an enquiry committee, the EC scrapped the candidacy of independent Md Habibur Rahman Paban (Lakshmipur-1), also a presidium member of Jubo League, for violating the code of conduct.

The commission also fined the AL aspirant for Cumilla-6, AKM Bahauddin Bahar, Tk 1 lakh, and Barguna-1 AL nominee Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu Tk 50,000 for breaching the code of conduct.

The EC decided to sue AL's picks Mostafizur Rahman (Chattogram-16) and Abdul Hyee (Jhenaidah-1) for violating the electoral rules.

The campaigning for the January 7 polls, which began on December 18, will end after 8:00am of January 5.

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