The Election Commission has asked aspiring candidates for the 12th national parliamentary election to remove posters, banners, billboards, arches and other campaign materials put up before the set time for campaigning at their own cost.
A notice has been sent to the Local Government Division asking the authorities to take measures on the matter a day after the election schedule was announced on Wednesday, the commission said on Saturday.
According to the election schedule, the deadline for nomination submissions is Nov 30, while the final date to withdraw candidacy is Dec 17. The commission will scrutinise the nomination papers from Dec 1 to Dec 4. The vote is slated for Jan 7, 2024.
Electoral symbols will be allocated on Dec 18, which means the candidates will have 14 days to submit nominations and 19 days for campaigning ahead of the election, from Dec 18 to Jan 5. The candidates will have to end their campaign 48 hours before the polls.
The notice, signed by EC Deputy Secretary Md Atiar Rahman, was sent to the Local Government Division secretary on Thursday.
“The Election Commission has decided to remove all kinds of electoral camps and advance campaign materials, like posters, banners, wall writings, billboards, arches and gates, pandals and lighting. The EC asked the aspiring candidates to take steps to remove the materials at their own cost,” the notice read.
“Different local government agencies, including city corporations and municipalities, will have to take the necessary measures to ensure the removal following the deadline.”
The EC officials said aspiring candidates have been distributing different kinds of campaign materials in the towns and villages of their constituencies, and they face charges for breaching the code of conduct with a maximum six-month jail term and a Tk 50,000 fine.
The authorities hold the right to scrap the candidate’s nomination and fine the registered political parties Tk 50,000 for a violation of the rules.