The Election Commission issued orders to the law enforcement agencies not to allow political parties and alliances to hold rallies before the general election scheduled for December 23.
The EC is overlooking gatherings and road marches held by ruling Awami League activists and leaders seeking the party’s nomination forms violating the poll codes, EC secretary Helaluddin Ahmed told reporters at his office Saturday.
Responding to a query, he said that the commission had given permission to the opposition Jatiya Oikya Front to hold a rally in Rajshahi on Friday as the JOF took the programme before the polls schedule was announced.
He said that the law enforcement agencies had been instructed by the EC to strictly enforce the ban on rallies and meetings anywhere across the country.
He said the gatherings organized near the AL president’s Dhanmondi office by nomination seekers constituted no polls code violations as they created festive election atmosphere.
He also said that the chief election commissioner asked the inspector general of police to take steps to check electoral violence and violation of electoral code of conduct.
Replying a question, he said that the commission would take the decision if any party applies for extending the deadline to convey their decisions about participation in polls as alliance.
Today is the last date for sending such applications, he said in the afternoon.
On Saturday morning, ruling AL general secretary Obaidul Quader announced at a news briefing at the party chief’s Dhanmondi office that his party would request the EC to extend the deadline.
In a circular, the EC on Saturday asked the returning officers not to cancel nomination papers of aspirants for ‘small mistakes’.
The circular also says that if the recruiting officer finds a nomination paper valid, there would be no need to scrutinize it.
The EC said that nomination seekers would be required to pay utility bills by November 12.
Bank loan defaulters, except small agricultural credits, would be disqualified for candidacy.
EC officials said that letters would be sent to all the ministries not to transfer any filed level officer without permission from the EC.
They said letters would also be sent not to inaugurate any development project and approve any donation to social, cultural and religious organizations.
On November, the EC announced the election schedule and set December 23 as the polling day ignoring opposition parties’ protests and they requested the EC not to declare the polls schedule before consensus was reached between the government and the opposition.
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