Monday, June 23, 2008 07:05 AM GMT+06:00

City Polls Candidates
Personal details to be on EC website
Staff Correspondent

Commission (EC) ensure public access to information about candidates in the August 4 polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities.

Applicants seeking candidacy must submit affidavits of personal information to returning officers (RO) during filing of the applications including details of their wealth, sources of income, backgrounds, and records of criminal cases if any existed in the past, officials in the EC Secretariat said adding that voters will have access to those information.

The EC will post the personal information of the selected candidates on its website for public viewing after July 13, the deadline for withdrawing candidacies, senior officials in the EC Secretariat said.

All contesting candidates will have to submit their election expenditure reports to the ROs within 30 days of the polling day.

The ROs will preserve all documents pertaining to the polls in their offices or in any other appropriate place, and the documents will be accessible to public for a year in exchange for a certain amount of fees. People will also be able to obtain copies of the poll expenditure reports submitted by the candidates.

The EC officials said the new system will help voters in making informed decisions about who they will vote into their local government offices.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda on Friday, while announcing the election schedule for the four city corporations and nine municipalities, said the new election rules will encourage honest and competent people to contest in the polls.

The new laws also allow appeals challenging selections of candidates as well as rejections of applicants. The appellate authorities will settle the appeals, but those have to be filed within two days of the selections or rejections.

The immediate past electoral laws allowed appeals only against rejections.

The EC officials said similar provisions for public access to information about candidates might also be incorporated in the rules for polls to union and upazila parishads.