New RPO passes into law
Friday, 22 August 2008

The government has published the Representation of the People Order (Amendment) Ordinance 2008 in a gazette, making registration of political parties compulsory and banning their front organizations, reports bdnews24.com.

Election Commission secretary Muhammad Humayun Kabir said he received a copy of the gazette on Thursday.
 
Election commissioner M Sakhawat Hussain on Thursday told bdnews24.com that the Election Commission would decide when it would start registration of political parties in a meeting on Sunday or Monday.
 
Chief election commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda on Wednesday told bdnews24.com that registration of the parties would start shortly after the ordinance was gazetted.
 
Political parties would be given up to two months time for registration, the CEC said.
 
According to the election roadmap, registration of political parties was supposed to be completed by the end of June.
 
President Iajuddin Ahmed signed the new RPO ordinance on Aug 19, according to which a candidate will not be able to contest the national polls from more than three constituencies.
 
Candidates must be voters and must submit eight pieces of information on the nomination paper.
 
According to the new law, a party must have won one constituency in any parliamentary election since independence, or secured five percent of total votes in the constituencies contested, to qualify for registration.
 
The parties seeking to be registered must have committee in at least 10 districts and 50 upazilas. All committees must be elected, with a target of getting 33 percent women leaders in all committees by 2012.
 
In addition to these conditions, every political party must have a constitution.
 
Grassroots leaders must create a nomination panel for candidates to parliamentary election, and a central parliamentary board of each party will finalise candidacy.
 
Campaign expenditure will be determined by the number of voters in a constituency up to a maximum of Tk 15 lakh.
 
Election expenditure of a party as a whole will also be determined by the number of constituencies it contests, up to a maximum of Tk 4.5 crore.
 
To be eligible for election to parliament, candidates must have been a member of a registered political party for at least three years.
 
Any person retired from government or non-government organisations will have to wait three years to contest a national election after retirement from their post.
 
People defaulting on loan repayments and people declared war criminals by a local or international court will not be eligible to run for elections.
 
Of the eight required pieces of information, candidates' academic qualification, profession, sources of income, wealth statement, amount of loans they owe to financial institution must be included in the affidavit.
 
The polls aspirants also have to give details if they have been accused in any criminal case and details of any verdict in cases against him or her in the past.
 
A candidate must mention the pledges he made in any previously contested election.

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