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Army told to prevent breach of poll rules in Dhaka

The armed forces will help the civil administration to prevent the violation of the code of conduct for next month's general elections.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 15:16 IST

Authorities in Bangladesh have asked the armed forces to help the civil administration to prevent the violation of the code of conduct for next month's general elections and to maintain law and order.

"The army will check the breaching of Rule 87A of the Representation of the People Order," reads an Election Commission directive issued on Monday.

The armed forces, now stationed at the district headquarters, have been asked to move as striking force and to monitor campaigns launched by contestants.

The army was redefined as a 'law enforcing agency' for the general elections in an ordinance promulgated in September 2001, ahead of the previous general elections.

But this time, the armed forces have been given the responsibility of enforcing the election code of conduct, election officials said.

Candidates of all major parties and alliances will submit their nomination papers on Tuesday to be eligible to contest the January 22 polls.

The campaign is expected to be dominated by two rival political alliances -- one led by Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the other by Sheikh Hasina's Awami League.

Meanwhile, the election authorities have directed the Home Ministry and all returning officers to chalk out an elaborate plan for using the army personnel effectively.

They have also asked the Home Ministry to submit a report detailing the need for field-level troop deployment to maintain law and order during the polls process.

The Election Commission plans to hold a meeting with top officials dealing with law enforcement, intelligence and the armed forces on Wednesday.

According to the Election Commission's latest directive, law-enforcing agencies will remove all electioneering material that violates the rules.

First Published: Dec 26, 2006 15:16 IST