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EC: Parties can propose multiple candidates for same seat

  • Published at 06:59 am November 26th, 2018
File photo of Bangladesh Election Commission Secretariat Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Questions asked after Awami League picks more than one nominee for the same constituency

Political parties contesting the upcoming 11th general election are free to nominate more than one candidate for the same seat, the Election Commission confirmed on Monday.

The clarification was given by the commission’s joint secretary, Farhad Ahmed Khan, after the ruling Awami League on Sunday controversially announced two nominees for several constituencies – citing strategic reasons. 

“There will not be any legal issue if a party primarily nominates more than one person for the same constituency,” Farhad said.

“The chief, or any other senior official of the party, will have to inform the returning officer of the name of the final candidate before the deadline of the nomination withdrawal. The candidacies of the other nominees will then be automatically cancelled.”

The Awami League move triggered some unrest among supporters of the rival nominees, who are now confused about how a final candidate will be selected for the December 30 polls.

“The most suitable candidate will be picked before the election,” Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said. 

Previously according to the Representation of the People Order (RPO), only one nominee per party could submit their nomination papers for a single seat. 

However, according to Section 16 (2) of the revised RPO, a party will have to inform the commission of the name of the final candidate for a seat before the December 8 deadline to withdraw nominations. 

The party’s high command, including the president or general secretary, will send the name of the final candidate via a letter to the respective returning officer.   

The other nominees will not need to file an application to withdraw their candidacies as their nominations will be automatically scrapped, the commission officials said.

The deadline for submitting nomination papers is November 28 and the papers will be scrutinized on December 2, the Election Commission has said.

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