Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Saturday said members of parliament (MPs) neither can take part in electioneering nor act as election coordinators in the upcoming polls to Dhaka north and south city corporation slated for January 30.
“No MP can participate in the electioneering. They can’t engage in election activities. They even can’t coordinate the election,” the CEC told reporters after a meeting with an Awami League team at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city.
Awami League has made Amir Hossain Amu, MP and Tofail Ahmed, MP the chief election coordinators in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
Replying to a question whether the two MPs can perform the responsibility, the CEC said he thinks they cannot.
Nurul Huda said the Commission did not receive anything officially who are in the coordination committee. “If we get, we’ll prevent them from performing the responsibility,” he said adding how he can say what they were doing sitting at homes.
“They can’t be engaged in any election activity, no matter whether it’s an indoor or open one,” he said.
Replying to another question if an MP can accompany a candidate, the CEC said there is no provision in the law about it. “An MP can accompany but can’t say anything,” he said.
Meanwhile, AL advisory council member Tofail Ahmed said MPs can do everything except seeking voter for anyone in the January-30 elections to the two city corporations in the capital.
He said this while talking to reporters after the meeting with the CEC and other election commissioners.
The AL team went to the EC on Saturday morning to raise objection against the legal bar to MPs to participate in the city electioneering.
Tofail said, “At the meeting, we’ve referred to inconsistencies in election rules. All commissioners but Mahbub Talukder agreed on our points.”
“We, MPs, won’t join street rallies and door-to-door campaign. But we were entrusted with the responsibility of coordinators, and we can hold indoor meetings,” he said.
According to the City Corporation (Election Code of Conduct) Rules 2016, the very important persons enjoying the government privileges are not allowed to take part in city election campaign.
MPs are also defined as the very important persons in the rules.
Tofail Ahmed said BNP’s important leaders can join the election campaign, but those of Awami League cannot.
He said they raised the issue at the meeting. MPs are not enjoying government privileges as they do not hold office of profit, he added.
Tofail, also an AL advisory council member, said the DNCC and DSCC elections will be credible, and their party will extend all-out cooperation in this regard.
“Since we’re the ruling party, we won’t do anything that can make the elections questionable,” he said.