Only Jamaat opposes EC plan for poll fund transparency | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 24, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 24, 2008

Only Jamaat opposes EC plan for poll fund transparency

Jamaat-e-Islami is the lone party that opposed the Election Commission's (EC) proposals aimed at ensuring accountability and transparency in collection and expenditure of election funds of political parties, reveals an EC report.
The party also opposed the EC's initiatives for providing people with the right to have information on political parties' polls expenditures, says the report based on the parties' views on the EC's proposals for electoral reforms.
Jamaat however proposed that the EC increase the ceiling of election expenditures of candidates in parliamentary polls to Tk 25 lakh each from Tk 5 lakh now, and also raise the proposed ceiling on donation to political parties.
Moreover, it opposed introduction of transparent ballot boxes while most of the parties demanded this, said the EC report prepared following the first round of its electoral reform talks with the parties held in between September and November last year.
The EC however did not entertain Jamaat objections to its proposals to ensure fair polls, and retained those with some modifications in line with the suggestions of most parties.
On election expenses of parties, the EC proposal said all of them should properly maintain accounts of their collection of funds and expenditures for polls purposes. It also proposed that they should submit reports to it on their elections funds and expenditures.
The EC's other proposals say that all sorts of documents relating to polls expenditures of political parties and candidates will be posted on its website so that people can easily get the information.
"If any one is found to have concealed facts, the commission will recommend cancellation of his/her membership of parliament," an EC proposal says.
But Jamaat opposed the EC proposals. At the first round of electoral reform talks on October 25 last year, the party's delegation termed the proposals 'unacceptable' and argued that implementation of these will create troubles in holding the poll. It also feared misuse of the provisions in the proposals.
Islami Oikya Jote expressed almost the same views as Jamaat on maintaining accounts of parties' election expenditures and collection of funds.
But the 13 other parties including Awami League and Jatiya Party, which took part in the reform talks, supported the EC's proposals to ensure accountability and transparency in collection and expenditure of election funds of parties.
Like Jamaat, Islami Oikya Jote proposed raising the ceiling of election expenditure of a candidate to Tk 25 lakh from Tk 5 lakh.
The 13 political parties however proposed that the EC take initiatives for reducing the polls expenditures.
The EC in its proposal said any individual can donate a maximum of Tk 5 lakh to a registered political party in a year and an organisation can donate Tk 25 lakh.
But Jamaat proposed raising the ceiling of donations from individuals and organisations to Tk 10 lakh from Tk 5 lakh and Tk 50 lakh from Tk 25 lakh respectively.
The EC however retained its proposals since the other parties accepted those.

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