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Electoral code of conduct: The dos and don’ts

  • Published at 04:02 pm November 8th, 2018
Election materials printed at the BG Press being loaded on to microbuses for distribution to various districts Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The electoral code of conduct puts a number of bars on the activities of VIPs during the election period

The time between the announcement of the election schedule and the publication of the election result through an official gazette is known as the election period. During this period, the electoral code of conduct puts a number of restrictions into effect.

As per the code of conduct, the prime minister, speaker of parliament, ruling ministers, chief whip, deputy speaker, opposition leader in parliament, deputy leader in parliament, deputy opposition leader in parliament, state ministers, whips, deputy ministers, lawmakers, city corporation mayors, and others of equivalent status are considered as Very Important Persons (VIPs) with government facilities.

The electoral code of conduct puts a number of bars on the activities of VIPs during the election period:

> No development project by government, semi government or autonomous bodies may be approved, announced or have its foundation stone lain 

> No donations or promises of donations can be made to any person or organisation

> Political or electoral events cannot be mixed with government programs or visits

> Government vehicles cannot be used for election campaigns

> Living creatures cannot be used as election symbols 

> Cloth-made posters and banners cannot be used for election campaigns 

> Posters should be hung, and not stuck onto buildings, fences, etc.

> Cannot attend meetings on government development activities

> Cannot participate in meetings of the governing bodies of educational institutions as president or member

> Teachers or staff of government, semi government, autonomous or educational institutions cannot be used in election campaigns

> The government Dak Bungalow, circuit house, rest house, and government offices cannot be used for campaign purposes

> Campaigns cannot include processions using trucks, buses, motorcycles, etc.

> No use of helicopters or aircraft. Only heads of parties can use aircraft, but not to distribute or show leaflets, banners or any other campaigning document

> Campaign activities cannot obstruct roads. Meetings will require prior approval on the venue, date and time from the authorities concerned. Police have to be notified at least 24 hours before meetings.

> Violations of the code of conduct may result in maximum six months imprisonment, a Tk50,000 fine, or both.

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