The Cabinet on Monday finally approved the draft of the ‘Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2013’ with a provision to debar the convicted persons committed crimes under the International Crimes Tribunal Act 1973 from contesting parliamentary polls.
The approval came from the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the proposed amendment to the law has also kept a provision for increasing the amount of security money of a candidate to Tk 20,000 from Tk 10,000.
Asked whether the convicted individuals who have already appealed against their verdicts under the ICT Act would be eligible to contest the national election, he said there is nothing as such in the proposed amendment and it is a matter of clarification of the law.
As per the amendment, he said, the polling agents should have to be selected from the voters of their respective constituencies while the ceiling of election expenditure for the candidates in national election has been proposed to be Tk 25 lakh against the existing amount of Tk 15 lakh.
The Cabinet Secretary, however, said the travel expenditure of the party chief to various places of the country would not be included to his or her own election expenditure.
Besides, the ceiling of donation by any individual to the fund of any political party has been increased to Tk 25 lakh from the existing Tk 10 lakh while that of by any company or association to party fund to Tk 50 lakh from the existing Tk 25 lakh.
The fees for filing any election related case has been increased to Tk 5,000 from the existing Tk 2,000.
About the formation of Election Commission, Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan referred to the 15th amendment to the constitution and said the proposed amendment states that the formation of the Commission would be with one Chief Election Commissioner and maximum four Election Commissioners.
Earlier, the chief of the Election Commission was recognised as its Chairman and the others as its Members. But, the proposed amendment recognised the head of the Election Commission as Chief Election Commissioner while the others as Election Commissioners.
About the withdrawal of candidature, the Cabinet Secretary said the amendment to the law has clarified that the candidature may be withdrawn by the candidate himself or herself or by the party.
The Cabinet meeting also approved the draft of ‘Multi-Level Marketing Programme (control) Bill, 2013’ to turn the existing ordinance into law through placing it in parliament.
Musharraf said the law would help ensure the control of the MLM activities alongside reducing the hassles and sufferings of people and averting cheating.
The meeting also approved the draft of the ‘Asian Insurance Corporation Bill, 2013’ to turn the existing ordinance into law making the draft in Bangla as per the Cabinet’s earlier decision to turn the ordinances into laws promulgated during the military rule.
The report on the activities of various Ministries and Divisions for the fiscal year 2012-13 was also placed before the Cabinet meeting.
Ministers, advisers to the Prime Minister, state ministers and secretaries concerned attended the meeting.