Government officials have sought that rules pertaining to their participation in parliamentary elections, after retirement, be relaxed. Their primary demand is to reduce the existing three years time frame after retirement or removal from the service to take part in the election.
The Election Commission is reportedly going to revise a number of electoral laws ahead of the eleventh parliamentary election. A number of government officials have been prodding the EC to amend the law for government officials, beside others.
Election Commission sources said before the tenth parliamentary election, a candidate was required to hold membership of his/her political party for at least three years before being eligible for candidacy.
The previous election commission excluded the provision prior to the last election, sources added.
A number of officials of the Election Commission’s Law and Election Management Section said some government officials have already communicated with them and they want the existing legislation is abolished.
Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujan) Secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar said government officials might abuse government funds and privileges to prepare ground for taking part in the election.
“So, a second thought should be given before incorporating such provisions,” the Sujan secretary said.
Director of the Election Working Group, a non-partisan network of 29 leading civil society organisations in Bangladesh, Md Abdul Alim opined that such a decision might increase political subservience and manoeuvrings in the administration.
It will destroy the level playing field in the election as the bureaucrats have the opportunity to utilise government funds to gain popularity in their respective areas.
Election Commissioner Mahabub Talukder said the commission is yet to receive any official letter regarding this issue.
“The five election commissioners including the chief election commissioner will discuss it before taking any decision.”
“However, the decision will not be taken for any individual’s interest, but for the greater sake of the nation,” the election commissioner said.
The Eleventh Parliamentary Election will be held anytime between November 2018 and January 2019.