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The Election Commission has moved to act after three days of public suffering in traffic jams in Dhaka due to processions of supporters of aspirants during nomination form collection or submission.


EC Joint Secretary Farhad Ahmmed Khan wrote to the public administration ministry on Monday to assign executive magistrates to ensure proper enforcement of the electoral code of conduct.

The magistrates will work in the election areas until a day after the vote.

One magistrate will be assigned for every Upazila, three to four wards under city corporations, and every municipality.
The Election Commission is also writing to the law enforcers asking them to prevent processions or other types of show of support by any aspirant or their followers, officials said.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda will sit with the returning officers to instruct them on the general elections on Tuesday.

The EC rolled out the election roadmap last Thursday and announcements of the BNPs alliances on joining the polls have cranked up political heat.

The ruling Awami League started selling nomination forms on Friday, drawing huge crowds of supporters of the aspirants.

The supporters even escorted many of the aspirants with processions of motorcycles and trucks, creating huge gridlocks in the Dhanmondi area, where the party is selling the forms.
The sufferings of the commuters of the area continued until the end of the partys nomination form sale on Monday.
But the BNP started selling forms by the time at its Naya Paltan headquarters. And the supporters of the partys aspirants also created long tailbacks in the area.

EC officials said they have watched the situation and are asking the related ministries, Police Headquarters and Dhaka Metropolitan Police to act against those who have violated the code of conduct.

According to the revised schedule with Dec 30 as the voting day, the candidates will be able to hit the campaign trail a day after the distribution of logos on Dec 10.

All sorts of procession, rally or any other similar event that can cause public suffering are banned until then.

No candidate is allowed to be accompanied by more than five people while submitting nomination papers to the returning officers.
The penalty for violating the code of conduct is up to six months of prison sentence or maximum Tk 50,000 fines for a candidate or any of his or her followers. The EC also has the powers to ban such candidates from the election.
The penalty for violation of the code for a party is Tk 50,000 fines.

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