Kazi Habibbul Awal Commission is indifferent in the implementation of Election Commission (EC) rules. In response to the comments made by prominent media persons, the constitutional body said that their statements on talk shows and various newspapers may mislead the public. That is why the constitutional institution has highlighted the actual position of the laws and rules of the Election Commission.
On Saturday (December 2), the EC's real position was highlighted through the Election Commission's public relations wing circular.
According to the EC, some of the dignitaries are commenting in various electronic media talk shows or newspapers that the Election Commission is lax in enforcing the code of conduct. Such concocted statements by prominent figures in the media can mislead the public. By undermining public confidence in the Election Commission as a constitutional body, it may negatively affect the upcoming parliamentary elections, which is not desirable at all. Because of this, the actual position of laws and regulations is revealed.
According to the agency, there is a statutory regulation called Political Candidates Conduct Rules, 2008 to regulate the conduct of campaigning in general elections and by-elections of the Jatiya Sangsad(JS). According to rule no. 5 of these rules, political parties, nominated candidates or independent candidates must follow the instructions given in rules no. 6 to 14 of the rules. In this case, the main subject of the code of conduct is political parties and candidates. A candidate can be a party nominee or an independent. Rule 12 of the rules says 21 days before. This means candidates will not get more than 21 days to campaign.
Regarding the rules, the EC also said that no candidate nominated by any political party or independent is a candidate within the meaning of the Act and Code of Conduct until the candidature is finalized through the Returning Officer. Election campaigning shall take place after scrutinizing of Returning Officers, decision of appeals, etc., finalizing the list of candidates for a constituency and allotment of symbols to open the field for campaigning. Then all the candidates in the constituency will be equally one candidate. From that time the Code of Conduct will apply to them.
Rule 12 regarding conduct prohibits any election campaign by or on behalf of a candidate 21 days before. The campaign period for the candidates has been fixed from December 18 this year to January 5, 2024 at 8 am. No person is legally eligible to become a candidate before December 18. As a result, there is no opportunity to campaign for or against any candidate in any constituency.