Voters await high-voltage campaign for Dec 30 election

Voters await high-voltage campaign for Dec 30 election

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Major political parties are set to launch their high-octane election campaign after the allocation of electoral symbols among their candidates as only 20 days are left for the nation to go to the general election to choose its new Parliament.

“Electoral symbols will be allocated among candidates today (Monday). Immediately after the symbol allocation, the formal electioneering can be launched,” Election Commission’s Joint Secretary SM Asaduzzaman told UNB.

According to election observers, the polls are going to be competitive unlike the previous ones as all political parties are joining it under two major poetical alliances – the Grand Alliance and Jatiya Oikyafront. Jatyia Oikyafront, forged between Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and some left-leaning parties, with Dr Kamal Hossain at its helm ahead of the national election billed for December 30.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, is in jail on corruption charges, while her son Tarique Rahman is in exile after being sentenced to life in prison. Khaleda Zia has been declared ineligible to contest the election because of her convictions in two graft cases.

The Grand Alliance is a coalition of Bangladesh Awami League, Jatiya Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Workers Party, Liberal Democratic Party and nine other parties.A total of 272 candidates are going to contest the 11th parliamentary elections with ‘Boat’, Awami League’s electoral symbol, while 298 with BNP’s polls symbol ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.

Out of total 300 constituencies, Awami League has fielded its own candidates in 258 while shared the rest 42 with its partners from the Grand Alliance. BNP has shared 58 seats with its partners from the Jatiya Oikyafront and the 20-party alliances and fielded its own candidates in 242 parliamentary seats.

The ruling party has kept aside 27 constituencies for Jatiya Party while five for Bangladesh Workers Party, three each for Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Jasod) and Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, two for Tarikat Federation, and one each for Jatiya party (JP-led by Manju) and Bangladesh Federation.

Of them, HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party will contest the election with its own symbol ‘Plough’ and Jatiya Party (JP) with its own symbol ‘Bicycle’ in the polls.Returning officers finalised the candidates for 300 constituencies after the deadline for withdrawal of candidature that expired at 5:00pm on Sunday.

Asaduzzaman said no candidate can spend more than Tk 10 per voter during the electioneering, but the total election expenditures, including the party’s donation, of a candidate cannot exceed the limit of Tk 25 lakh.The Commission has already deployed 600 judicial magistrates and nearly 1,000 executive magistrates to punish the violation of the electoral code of conduct during the campaign.

As part of the election campaign, the candidates can hang only black-white posters of the maximum 60cmX45 cm size, but no poster can be pasted. Neither any colourful poster nor a banner-size one can be used.In case of banner, the highest size is 3X1 metre as per the electoral code of conduct.

A total of 3,065 candidates — 2,567 from all the 39 registered political parties and 498 independent ones — filed nomination papers to contest the election from 300 constituencies in the country.The returning officers on December 2 accepted 2,279 nomination papers and rejected 786 during scrutiny.Later, 243 candidates got back their candidacies as the Election Commission upheld their appeals.

Besides, many other candidates, including Ganajagaran Mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarkar, independent candidate for Kurigram-4, have got back their candidatures with the High Court’s orders.A total of 272 candidates are going to contest the 11th parliamentary elections with ‘Boat’, Awami League’s electoral symbol, while 298 with BNP’s polls symbol ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.

Out of total 300 constituencies, Awami League has fielded its own candidates in 258 while shared the rest 42 with its partners from the Grand Alliance. BNP has shared 58 seats with its partners from the Jatiya Oikyafront and the 20-party alliances and fielded its own candidates in 242 parliamentary seats.

Awami League on Sunday afternoon sent the list of its 258 final candidates to the Election Commission.Besides, BNP on Saturday submitted a list of 298 candidates of the party and its alliance partners of Jatiya Oikyafront and the 20-partry to the Election Commission (EC) Sunday afternoon.

source: UNB

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