Election code of conduct breached on final day of nomination submission

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As per the election code of conduct, no procession or showdown can be held during the filing of nomination papers. However, on Thursday, the last day of submission of nomination papers, prospective candidates did not adhere to this rule at various places across the country. They organised large processions while filing nomination papers. 

The previous day, on Wednesday, candidates were observed submitting nomination papers by breaching the code of conduct in various parts of the country. 

Yesterday, the election inquiry committee of the constituencies concerned sent letters to four ministers, state ministers, and at least eight members of parliament (MPs), seeking an explanation regarding the violation of the code of conduct. Awami League candidate, cricketer Shakib Al Hasan, has also been asked to provide reasons for violating the code of conduct. 

The EC has formed 300 election inquiry committees across 300 constituencies to investigate allegations of irregularities spanning from the time of the election schedule to the results of the polls. 

Letters asking for an explanation regarding the violation of the code of conduct have been sent to textiles and jute minister Golam Dastgir Gazi, minister of state for relief and disaster management Enamur Rahman, state minister for youth and sports Zahid Ahsan, state minister for information and communication technology Junaid Ahmed, among others. 

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Additionally, show cause letters have been sent to incumbent MPs Mohibbur Rahman (Patuakhali-4), Anwar Hossain Khan (Lakshmipur-1), RM Obaidul Mokhtadir Chowdhury (Brahmanbaria-3), Meher Afroz (Gazipur-5), Nur Uddin Chowdhury (Lakshmipur-2), Shafiqul Islam (Nator-1), Fazlur Rahman (Sunamganj-4, Jatiya Party), and Faridpur-4 constituency independent MP Mojibur Rahman Chowdhury, alias Nixon. 

The 12th National Assembly elections are scheduled for 7 January. The deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers was until 4:00 pm yesterday, and the last day saw a significant rush to submit nomination papers. 

Whip submits nomination paper with police protocol 

Independent candidate and Jatiya Sangsad whip Samshul Haque Chowdhury arrived at the district returning officer's office in Chattogram at 2:30 pm yesterday, riding a car carrying the national flag and enjoying police protocol in violation of the election code of conduct.  

According to the code of conduct, individuals benefiting from the government cannot integrate "election programmes or activities" into their government agenda. They are prohibited from using government vehicles, government propaganda machines, or other government facilities for election campaigning for themselves or others. 

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After submitting the nomination papers, whip Samshul Haque Chowdhury claimed, "The protocol and flag did not breach the code of conduct. The chief election commissioner stated that I would not receive the protocol and flag in my constituency only; it would cease when I enter my area." 

Returning officer deputy commissioner Abul Basar Mohammad Fakhruzzaman told reporters, "The Election Commission has provided clear instructions on this matter. It specifies whether you can submit the nomination paper with the official protocol. I cannot comment on it now." 

Violation of code of conduct at various places 

Law Minister Anisul Haque is facing allegations of violating the code of conduct by attending two rallies in Brahmanbaria. On the submission day of his nomination papers, he participated in a rally in an upazila within his constituency. Subsequently, after submitting the papers, he joined another rally in a different upazila, triggering a significant showdown in Kasba and Akhaura upazilas of the district with his backing. 

In a separate incident on the same day, Kazi Firoz Rashid, the current Member of Parliament for Dhaka-6 Constituency, along with hundreds of leaders and activists, entered the Returning Officer's office, chanting slogans in favor of the 'Plough' symbol.  

Trinamool BNP General Secretary Taimur Alam Khandaker visited the returning officer's office to submit the nomination papers for Trinamool BNP candidate MA Yusuf in Dhaka-8 seat, accompanied by banners and posters. 

Awami League candidate for Dhaka-7 Constituency, Mohammad Solaiman Salim, led leaders and workers to the Dhaka Divisional Commissioner's office in three cars around 1:30 pm, featuring a digital banner.  

Before submitting nomination papers, Kalapara Upazila Awami League President Mahbubur Rahman blocked the road and organised a rally with leaders and workers.

Additionally, Awami League nominated candidate Abdus Sobhan Mia, also known as Golap, submitted his nomination papers in Madaripur-3 constituency with a motorcade.