EC seeks bank records of 9,000
The Election Commission (EC) has sent a list of around 9,000 prospective candidates in the upcoming parliamentary election to the state-owned banks and utility service providers to identify defaulters among them.
Compact discs (CD) containing the names will be gradually sent to the private banks. The list includes the names of all contestants of the last three parliamentary elections and also the winners and their closest contestants in the national polls since 1973.
The EC also asked the banks and utility providers to update the status of their clients so that it can easily identify loan or bill defaulters among the candidates during submission of nomination papers.
As per the Representation of the People Order (RPO), the defaulters with loans rescheduled 15 days before submission of nomination papers can contest the elections. The utility bill defaulters have to follow the same procedure if they intend to participate in the next parliamentary election.
The EC said a person will be considered 'defaulter' if he or she has defaulted on loan or a portion of loan. Both the default loan owner and guarantor will be disqualified for candidature in the next elections.
However, an individual who owns maximum Tk 1 lakh in default crop loans will be eligible for contesting the election. The EC for the first time stands against utility bill defaulters alongside the loan defaulters. Any aspirant candidates having default bills for gas, electricity or telephone will not be eligible for contesting the elections.
The officials of state-owned banks said it will be difficult to update the status of so many clients.
They will send the lists to the divisional offices and are now preparing bank statements of those who, according to media reports, may apply for candidature for the December 18 election.
However, they are confident of providing the EC with required information during the submission of nominations papers.
The Bangladesh Bank governor asked the commercial banks to be cautious in furnishing the EC with information as their mistakes could cost an individual his candidature.
The state-run commercial banks have already formed a 12-member committee each to update the loan information.