False info will lead to cancellation of candidature
Saturday, 29 March 2008

HTML clipboardA provision has been incorporated in the draft of the Representative of Public Order (RPO) so that the candidature of any election candidate can be cancelled for providing false information through affidavit to the Election Commission, reports UNB.

As per the new provision, if the evidence of providing false information are found after the gazette notification of the election results or the candidates’ oaths, the EC would suggest parliament and LGRD Ministry to cancel the concerned candidate’s membership in parliament and other local bodies.

“According to the draft electoral rules (RPO), the candidates will have to submit some specific information along with their nomination papers… We’ve made a format to facilitate the candidates to provide the information,” Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain told journalists Thursday afternoon.

He said the candidates would have to put forward the information through affidavit before the notary public wherever it would be necessary to certify the information. “The Election Commission can cancel the candidature if it is proved that a candidate deliberately provided false information through sworn statement,” Sakhawat said.

“If it’s proved after the gazette notification of the election results or the candidates’ oaths, we’ll send our suggestion to parliament asking the Speaker so that his/her membership in parliament is cancelled,” he said.

About the elected local body members, he said the Commission would suggest the LGRD Ministry to cancel the membership. “But before the gazette notification of the election results or the candidates’ oaths, we can cancel the candidature,” the Election Commissioner said. Asked about the voter registration programme, Sakhawat said, “The progress is so far so good.

More than 5.10 crore voters have been registered.” He hoped that the primary voter list would be completed by June if the weather permits. “It seems that the voter list will be ready by the end of September or the first week of October.

We can announce the complete schedule (of national election) only after receiving the final voter list,” he said. About holding election of Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet city corporations and seven municipalities, Sakhawat said the HSC examinations are going to start on May 29 on completion of the SSC examinations on April 27.

“We’re planning to hold the elections in between the period,” he said. “The LGRD Ministry has in principle approved the draft of a new law on local government. We’re expecting to get it in hand within a week,” Sakhawat told the reporters.

It is pointless to announce the election schedule before these laws are ready, he said, adding that they want to hold the elections under the new laws, especially under the new election code of conduct. Asked if the upazila elections would be held before the national election or both would be held simultaneously, the Election Commissioner said there are many who doubt that there would no national election if the upazila elections are held first.

“We’ve always said we won’t do anything that will hamper the national election,” he said. The EC roadmap is to hold the national election before the end of 2008, he said, adding that the EC feels that various problems would emerge if there is no elected government in the country.

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