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Dhaka Tribune

Religion-based campaigns could cost candidature: EC

Update : 10 Jul 2013, 05:49 AM

The Election Commission (EC) has decided that it would cancel the candidacy of those who will engage in religion-based campaigning, starting with the upcoming general elections.

“After announcing the polls’ schedule, the EC will warn everyone to abstain from using the religion card in election campaigns for the next parliamentary polls. If any specific allegation of doing so, against a candidate is proven, the EC will cancel his or her candidature,” EC officials said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the EC secretariat, Election Commissioner Md Shah Newaz said: “Using religion in elections is a violation of electoral code of conduct. If needed, the EC will amend the electoral laws to elaborate on the matter. If any candidate uses religion in election campaigns in the next parliamentary polls, the EC would cancel his or her candidacy.”

According to section-11(B) of The Political Party and Candidate’s Electoral Code of Conduct, “A candidate could not be allowed to hold election campaigning in mosques, temples and other places of worship.”

The commissioner said the EC is making all necessary preparations, including deploying sufficient manpower, to hold the next parliamentary elections in a free, fair and impartial manner.

No date for next national polls has been fixed yet but it will be held within three months of dissolving the parliament as per the laws, he said.

“We have already gained people’s trust after successfully conducting the recent polls,” he said.

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