Violation of electoral code
There are reports of gross violation of the electoral code of conduct in several constituencies even before the start of the campaigning. The matter was flashed in many print media yesterday. The violations mostly related to staging showdown of supporters and organising processions in large numbers while submitting nomination form to the returning officers.
What is surprising is that not only did some of the aspiring candidates have the benefit of the company of sitting MPs, they were even accompanied by serving government officials as was the case of the current administrator of Dhaka Zila Parishad and panel chairman of Savar Upazila Parishad. All these are gross violations of the rules.
The EC has expressed its ignorance of the matter and has assured of action if what has been reported, according to it, is true. We hope that as far as these instances are concerned, the violations are too blatant and too obvious for the commission to gloss over. But we wonder if it is not also for the returning officers to take action in situ as per the book against the offenders and report the violations to the election immediately. We would be very interested to see what penalty the commission awards to the offenders.
The success of the forthcoming election and indeed its credibility will depend on the ability of the EC to act, and to be seen to act, fairly and impartially in all matters. And this can be possible only if it went by the book to uphold the sanctity of the elections without fear or favour.