The Election Commission has summoned Amir Hossain Amu, the Awami League candidate for the Jhalakathi-2 parliamentary seat, to answer allegations of breaching the electoral code of conduct.
The former industry minister has to appear before the EC in person at 3pm on Dec 15 to provide an explanation, according to a letter.
Amu is accused of campaigning ahead of the assignment of symbols for the polls by soliciting votes at an event in his constituency on Dec 8.
The schedule for the Jan 7 general election says that election symbols will be assigned on Dec 18, kicking off the designated period for campaigning. Campaigning may continue until 8 am on Jan 5.
The EC letter to Amu states that the Awami League candidate was invited as chief guest to two different events in the district on Dec 8, the anniversary of the Pakistan Army’s attack on Jhalakathi in 1971.
Attending such events as a candidate could be in breach of the code of conduct as they could turn into public campaign rallies, the EC said. They could also stir confusion in the media.
The election regulators accused Amu of making a speech and soliciting votes at one of the events, photos and videos of which were published by the media.
bdnews24.com was unable to reach Amu for comment despite repeated attempts.
The EC has formed separate Election Inquiry Committees for each parliamentary seat ahead of this election. They are tasked with monitoring the electoral situation and ensuring free and fair polls by investigating and punishing violations of the code of conduct and electoral crime.
A violation of the electoral code can be punished with up to six months in jail and a TK 50,000 fine, or both. Electoral crimes may be punished by up to seven years in prison.