EC mulls electoral code in view of India’sTaib Ahmed
The Election Commission is mulling framing an electoral code of conduct for the 10th parliamentary polls in light with the Indian electoral code of conduct if the national elections are finally held keeping a political party in power.
The commission is scrutinising the Indian electoral code of conduct as Indian general elections are held keeping the incumbents in power, an election commissioner told New Age.
‘If our elections are finally held before the dissolution of parliament or keeping the current government in power, the electoral code of conduct of the Indian Election Commission will be useful for us too,’ he said.
The 15th amendment to the constitution has made a provision that the general elections would be held in 90 days before the dissolution of parliament. It has also scrapped the provisions for election-time non-party caretaker government.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led opposition alliance has announced to boycott and subsequently to resist any elections before dissolution of parliament and keeping the incumbents in power.
The commissioner, however, said the commission might wait until the eleventh hour before finalising the electoral code of conduct with a hope that the political parties would reach a consensus.
Though the commission is scrutinising electoral code of conduct of different democratic countries including India, the commission would make a decision after Eid-ul Azha, he added.
The commissioner said that the commission did not want to get embroiled in further controversies by framing the code for the political parties as well as the candidates right now as it was not sure under which circumstances the 10th parliamentary polls would be held.
‘We have sufficient time in our hands,’ he noted.
Article VII of the Indian electoral code of conduct says, ‘The party in power whether at the centre or in the state or states concerned, shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position for the purposes of its election campaign.’
The article further says that the issue of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer in the newspapers and other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements with a view to furthering
the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided, that ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments out of discretionary funds from the time elections are announced by the commission and that from the time elections are announced by the commission, ministers and other authorities shall not – (a) announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof; or (b) lay foundation stones etc. of projects or schemes of any kind; or (c) make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc.; or (d) make any ad-hoc appointments in Government, Public Undertakings etc. which may have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power.’
Election commissioner Zabed Ali, while talking to reporters at his office recently, had said that the commissioner collected electoral code of conduct of different countries including India, Australia, US and UK to scrutinise those before formulating the electoral code of conduct.
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