Mayors not eligible to contest JS polls
The Election Commission is finally sure that mayors of city corporations and municipalities are not eligible to contest parliamentary polls as they hold office of profit, said EC sources.
For long, it was confused about the definition of 'office of profit' in the Representation of the People Order.
That confusion has gone on legal experts' opinion that mayors are not qualified to compete in the national election since they enjoy financial and other benefits from statutory authorities like city corporations and municipalities.
According to the RPO, a person shall be disqualified for election as a member of parliament if he is holding an office of profit in the service of the republic or a statutory body.
Councillors of city corporations and municipalities, however, qualify for election to parliament since theirs are not deemed office of profit.
The issue came up following reports that mayors of Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna are preparing to stand in the December 18 parliamentary polls.
If they still want to vie for a place in the ninth parliament, they must resign their positions before filing nominations, said sources at the EC Secretariat.
The EC does not have plans to issue any circular or clarification at this moment. It will however oblige if anyone seeks clarification of electoral provisions.
Before scrutiny of nominations, the commission will direct the returning officers (RO) to reject applications filed by incumbent mayors, they added.
Meanwhile, municipality mayors and union parishad chairmen are contacting the EC officials to know if they can run in the upazila election scheduled for December 28.
The provisions in their case are quite clear. According to the Local Government (Upazila Parishad) Ordinance 2008, a person shall be disqualified for election to upazila parishad if he holds office in a local government organisation or parliament.
The EC officials say the incumbents can be candidates in the upazila polls if they step down as mayor or chairman before filing nominations.