The Election Commission has finalised the draft rules for the upcoming city corporation polls with a provision that anyone wishing to contend as an independent candidate will have to submit a list 300 voters who support him or her.
After the elections to the Upazilas, union councils and municipalities, the city corporation polls are now set to be held along political party lines for the first time.
The modified electoral code of conduct also indicates that the speaker, ministers and their equivalent functionaries, members of parliament and other city mayors cannot take part in the campaign.
The EC has taken the initiative to change the electoral rules and code of conduct in line with the law.
The law pertaining to election of mayors along party lines was amended in November last year.
EC Secretary Md Sirajul Islam told bdnews24.com:“In order to hold the country’s first party-based city elections, the rules have been modified. Candidates must be authenticated by their parties while independent candidates must submit a list supported by 300 voters.”
“The commission has approved the rules. Now they will be forwarded to the law ministry for vetting,” he said.
The newly modified code of conduct will reflect the one that had been made for the mayoral election, which was held on party lines for the first time in November last year, the EC secretary said.
“We have finalised the draft. The ministry can give opinions on vetting. It will be gazetted, if approved. The polls schedule will be announced then.”
Candidates for the general elections have to submit a list supported by one percent of voters of their constituency.
A bill was passed in November to hold local government polls along with party lines.
Party-based elections to the municipalities were held in December last year while party-based balloting for Union Parishads, the lowest tier of the local government, was held between February and June this year.
Independent candidates earlier would need 100 voters’ support to run for municipality mayor.
The EC wants to start working for the elections to the city corporations in Narayanganj and Comilla after amending the rules by October this year.
Officials said they are considering elections in the second half of December as examinations for schoolgoers will be finished by then.