Election campaign begins

DHAKA, Election campaign begins today in fullswing across the country as Election Commission (EC) has opened the campaign field after completing official formalities, including allocation of symbols among the candidates vying for December 30 national polls.

Candidates and their supporters can conduct election campaign at their respective constituencies immediately after getting electoral symbols, said EC Joint Secretary Farhad Ahmad Khan yesterday.

As per the election schedule, the EC distributed symbols among candidates yesterday. The EC has also started sending polling materials, including stamp pad, officials seal, marking seal, indelible ink pen, charger light, stapler pin and machine to its all regional offices across the country.

As per rules and regulations of EC, the candidates will be able to continue their campaign till midnight on December 28, ahead of 32 hours of voting day on December 30.

The EC has already directed the executive magistrates and law enforcement officers to stay alert to prevent any untoward situation centering polls during the campaign.

A total of 122 Electoral Inquiry Committee will remain in the field of voting where candidates and their supporters could complain on any issues regarding the violation of electoral offenses and code of conduct.

According to the code of conduct, the candidates can hang only blackwhite posters of the maximum 60cmX45 cm size, but no poster can be pasted. No candidate will be allowed to use any colourful poster or a bannersize one. In case of banner, the highest size is 3X1 metre as per the electoral code of conduct.

Microphone can be used from 2pm to 8pm and candidates are asked to avoid religious places for publicity.

Candidates will not be allowed to bring out processions with trucks and buses. Political parties can use the photographs of their party chiefs in the posters of the candidates.

The persons availing government facilities will have to take part in the campaign by leaving all facilities including government buildings, cars and other protocols.

However, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina can get the protocol facilities due to security reason as per the law.

The budget of a political party for a nominee and the election expenditure of the nominee combined have to be within Tk 25 lakh, according to Article 44(B) of RPO 1972.

Additionally, the EC has fixed Tk 10 as the maximum expenditure for a voter by the candidate from a particular constituency.

The retuning officers finalised the candidates for 300 constituencies after the deadline for withdrawal of candidature that expired at 5pm on Sunday.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)