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Bangla EC to ease party registration rules

Election Commission in emergency- ruled Bangladesh will ease the procedure for registration of political parties laid out in the electoral reforms law, as most of them expressed their inability to fulfil the required criteria at a short notice ahead of the December 18 polls.

world Updated: Sep 23, 2008 11:29 IST

Election Commission in emergency- ruled Bangladesh will ease the procedure for registration of political parties laid out in the electoral reforms law, as most of them expressed their inability to fulfil the required criteria at a short notice ahead of the December 18 polls.

The political parties would now be able to get registered with the Election Commission by submitting "provisional" party constitutions but with clear pledges that they would meet the conditions set by the commission for reforms, the EC said late on Monday.

"On our part, we have made concessions to the extent we can afford as regards framing of new electoral laws and we cannot relax it further even if anyone presses for it," Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda said at a press conference in Dhaka.

The CEC's announcement came after major parties said the mandatory registration for contesting polls would expose them to difficulties as it would require them to amend party constitutions immediately, convening national councils under the state of emergency.

The CEC, however, said there was no chance to bypass the electoral reform programmes which also incorporated an option allowing voters to cast no-vote in ballot.

The amended election law barred political parties from having front organisations and overseas units while it sought to ensure exercise of intra-party or in-house democracy to be qualified for polls, besides eight-point disclosures of contenders and submission of their election expenditure statements to the Election Commission.

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