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Dhaka Tribune

EC to rule out facilities for ministers, MPs

Update : 22 Oct 2013, 06:13 PM

The Election Commission is going to add a proposal canceling at least seven visible government facilities for the polls-time ministers and MPs in the new electoral code of conduct in case the polls are to be held under a partisan government.

The commission is specifying clearly in the electoral code of conduct to cancel the government facilities and prevent invisible political pressure to the administration to create level-playing field for all parties, EC officials said.

EC officials said normally ministers get gun salutes from the district administration and can direct their ministries to give facilities to election areas. MPs are part of law enforcing committees of their areas, presidents of the governing bodies of educational institutions and have the right to use government accommodations and transport.

The commission is going to add specific sections in the electoral code of conduct to cancel these visible facilities for preventing any type of pressure, the officials said.

Besides, the prime minister and the leader of the opposition or those who would be in power during the polls would not get any protocol. They also would not be able to use government transport, housing facilities or have personal secretaries and government employees as member of entourage during their election campaigns.

Chiefs of parties would only be allowed to use party flags in election campaigning. The EC would also post monitoring teams to prevent invisible pressure on administration.

Election Commissioner Zabed Ali on Tuesday said ministers and MPs would get security during election campaigning but would not get any facilities.

“If the polls are held as per the constitution, ministers and MPs would contest in the elections. The commission is preparing the draft electoral code of conduct so that none can get any government facilities during election campaigns. After completing the draft of electoral code of conduct, the EC would take suggestions from everyone,” Zabed added.

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