Election Commission moves to change poll symbols for female candidates

After coming under fire in the City Corporation and municipal polls, the Election Commission is changing symbols for female candidates.

Moinul Hoque Chowdhurybdnews24.com
Published : 13 Jan 2016, 06:43 AM
Updated : 13 Jan 2016, 06:45 AM

It had come under strong criticism for allotting household items to women during the city polls in April and the recent polls to 234 municipalities in December last year.

An EC meeting on Tuesday proposed 10 new symbols dropping previous symbols like frying pan, ornaments and vegetables.

Election Commissioner Md Shahnewaz said that they are now discussing over the proposed electoral rules and code of conducts for the upcoming Union Parishad (UP) polls.

It will be finalised in a few days and forwarded to the law ministry for vetting, he added.

An EC official told bdnews24.com that a new set of symbols has been proposed for reserved women councilor aspirants for UP polls. 

Symbols like, frying pan, necklace, comb, flower and vegetable have been dropped, said EC Joint Secretary Md Shahjahan. The new symbols include, pen, camera, book, giraffe, megaphone and helicopter.

The EC is also changing symbols for chairman and councilor aspirants.

The minutes of Tuesday’s meeting shows that Election Commissioner Abdul Mobarak had reservations over flowerpot and calculator as symbols.

He said that the calculators ‘cannot be displayed clearly’ in posters and much of the rural population have ‘never seen’ a flowerpot.

In February 2015, the EC published the gazette for symbols to be used in local body polls.

But it had then come under fire from civic bodies and rights organisations for allotting household items for female candidates.

“No such symbols will be allotted in the upcoming UP polls which might insult female candidates,” EC Secretary Sirajul Islam told bdnews24.com.

The EC plans to hold elections to 4,500 Union councils across Bangladesh from March this year.