Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013

GENERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN

Scrap amendment to electoral code: BNP

The BNP has asked the election office to drop a proposal which, once approved, will enable the ruling party chief and 20 leaders enjoy the privilege to lead electioneering if the general election is held under a partisan government.

The proposal, which comes through the amendment to electoral codes of conduct, goes against of the concept of the free and fair election, the main opposition argued.

“The commission has added fuel to the fire, taken a stand against the people,” BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said while addressing a press conference on behalf of the party at its headquarters at Nayapaltan.

As per a provision of the draft amendment, if the general election is held under a partisan government, head of the ruling party and its 20 leaders (picked by the party chief) would enjoy the privilege to lead election campaigns across the country.

This means that the provision would allow Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with 20 other ministers or state ministers or AL leaders join the polls campaign without resigning from their posts, if the premier continues as the Awami League chief.

“The amendment will give birth to a fresh nationwide crisis and question the whole electoral system,” Khan said.

If the commission extends especial facilities to any party through the amendment, it would destroy the level playing field, he said, adding “And the polls results would not be accepted by the people.”

The BNP leader asked the EC commissioners to step down if they cannot block the passage of the amendment.