CEC for law amendment to bar party campaign
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) might ask the government to incorporate specific provisions in laws regarding local body polls to prevent political parties from campaigning for their candidates in future.
The CEC's comment came a day after the High Court (HC) scrapped provisions from the code of conduct of city corporations and municipality polls that restricted political parties from campaigning for their candidates.
“Any amendment to the original laws on local government bodies is not possible now before the August 4 polls in four city corporations and nine municipalities. However it will be effective for polls held in future,” CEC Huda told reporters yesterday.
While giving his reactions on the HC's ruling, he said the LGRD ministry itself could bring the amendment to the laws to ensure the polls are held on non-partisan basis.
Asked if the EC will file an appeal against the HC verdict, the CEC said the commission would take a decision on that after discussing the matter. Until then the EC will abide by the court's ruling, he said.
Huda said political parties can now campaign for their candidates in the August 4 polls.
The caretaker government made the new laws last May on city corporation and municipality replacing previous ones.
Exercising the power given by the new laws, the EC later promulgated the electoral code of conduct making specific provisions that polls to the local government bodies be held on non-partisan basis.
According to the now scrapped codes of conduct, “polls to city corporations and municipalities are non-partisan. Use of candidates' political affiliations in campaigns will constitute a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment and fine, and even cancellation of candidacy.”