All law enforcers for local polls get power of arrest
Tuesday, 24 June 2008

– Law enforcers on duty for local government polls, in addition to the police, will have powers to arrest violators of election rules without a warrant.

According to a set of new rules, the Election Commission will have powers to cancel candidacy and punish the "guilty" summarily by entrusting first-class magisterial authority to a relevant person.

The rules had earlier applied only to the national polls. The new rules formulated by the EC were gazetted on June 17.

People violating the rules before the polls will face six months in jail or a fine of Tk 50,000, according to the amended code of conduct.

Abdul Baten, senior assistant secretary of the Election Commission secretariat, told that the code of conduct had been made in line with different election-related ordinances and rules.

In case of such violation, the EC, if necessary, will order an instant investigation and cancel candidacy if allegations are proved.

The government gazetted a uniformed code of conduct for all six city corporations, replacing the 1977 code of conduct for municipalities.

According to the previous laws, only the police had the powers to arrest the violators of election rules on the voting day.

The polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities will be held on Aug 4.

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