Polls after Jan 24 if parties want:?CEC

October 31, 2013

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad on Wednesday announced the code of conduct, saying that the government would not be able to make any “policy-level decision”, and it would carry out only “routine work”, the way a caretaker government functions.
The EC had finalised the draft code of conduct on Tuesday, imposing some restrictions on campaigns of those who enjoy government facilities. “The Election Commission is ready to hold the 10th parliamentary poll even after January 24, if the major political parties come to a consensus as we want to hold a participatory and credible election,” Rakibuddin said at his office at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. He was talking to reporters after a meeting that finalised the draft of the electoral code for political parties and candidates.
The CEC said the draft code will be published in a day or two, seeking the opinion of all, including political parties, for the next seven days.
The draft will be posted on the EC’s official website and anyone can express his/her opinion within the stipulated time from the date it will appear on the website.
“The Prime Minister, the Opposition leader, as well as ministers are privileged to enjoy government facilities.
But once the election schedule is announced, everyone will come under the purview of the RPO and code of conduct,” the CEC said.
Replying to a question, the CEC said the privileged very important persons (VIPs) would not be able to use government vehicles for political purpose and political activities will not be allowed in government establishments, like circuit houses and rest houses.
Rakibuddin said the EC was hopeful of a consensus between the political parties for a free, fair, inclusive and peaceful poll. “When they reach a consensus, we will act in accordance with their instructions. Laws will be enacted the way they want and we will act accordingly,” the CEC said.
Asked how the government as well as ministers would function during the election-time, the CEC said: “They will not be able to take any policy-level decision. They will carry out only routine work, just like a caretaker government.”
The CEC said the poll code was framed keeping the caretaker government system in mind. The EC will have to frame a new code for election under a political government, though the two major political parties are likely to hold talks on a poll-time government.
When his attention was drawn to the finance minister’s remarks that the 10th general election will be held in the second week of January, Rakibuddin said his words are not the words of the EC. “It’s the minister’s personal view.”

-Input from The Independent

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