Army suggests changes in draft electoral rules q
The army has suggested some amendments to the draft rules on electoral roll, prepared by the Election Commission (EC) and sent to the army authorities seeking their opinion on those.
Reviewing the draft, the army gave suggestions on nine sections and sub-sections of the rules for the EC's consideration, sources at the EC Secretariat said.
Most of the suggestions are technical that specified the procedure to ensure preparing the voter list properly.
The EC is now finalising the draft rules, to be formulated in the next two weeks giving legal coverage to the procedure being followed in preparing the voter list with photographs, and national identity cards.
"We have sought opinion of the army on the draft rules since the disciplined force is helping preparation of voter list," Election Commissioner Muhammed Sohul Hussain said in reply to a question.
The Electoral Roll Ordinance 2007 promulgated on August 9 empowered the EC to formulate rules on electoral roll. Earlier, the power to formulate such rules lay with the government.
The EC started the field level task for making voter list with photographs in August, and moved to formulate the draft rules in October.
The draft rules provide that the EC will register prisoners and detainees, including former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, and other political bigwigs, as voters on completion of registering general people of the area where the prisoners and detainees are kept.
This is for the first time the EC is not considering detained BNP chief Khaleda and Awami League chief Hasina as very important persons (VIPs) to be registered as voters. In the past, the EC usually began the task listing Khaleda and Hasina as voters.
The army headquarters also echoed the EC's views on listing prisoners and detainees as voters.
In the draft rules, the EC said that in consultation with the authorities, mobile teams will have to be sent to jails, or where detainees are kept, to take photographs and fingerprints of the prisoners and detained people for listing them as voters.
The army headquarters suggested that the prisoners and detained individuals should be considered as residents of the areas where they would live if not imprisoned or detained. And they must not be registered as voters in the areas where they are being kept.
The EC at a meeting on Saturday discussed the draft rules and suggestions given by the army.