82 Election Reforms During Sheikh Hasina Government

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Published on November 24, 2023
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Name of Laws/Policies

Reforms to Strengthen the Election Commission and the Election System

1

The Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners Act 2022: This law has curtailed the subjective discretion of the President and provided objective criteria to form a Search Committee for nominating persons to the offices of Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners.

2

The Election Commission Secretariat Act 2009: Before enacting this act, the Election Commission Secretariat was under the Prime Minister’s office because of this it was difficult for the Election Commission to be free from Executive influence. Under the Election Commission Secretariat Act 2009, the complete independence of the Election Commission has been ensured by empowering them to adopt all kinds of executive, financial, regulatory, policy-making and legislative (rules and regulations making) powers related to elections. As a result, the Election Commission is no longer subservient to the executive organ of the state.

3

The Election Commission (Officers and Employees) Recruitment (Amendment) Rules 2016 (6 April 2016): This Amendment Rules amended the 2008 Rules to prescribe criteria for recruiting officers and employees in the Election Commission.

4

The Election Commission Employees Recruitment Rules 2023: This Rule repealed the previous 2008 Rules and updated the requirements for recruiting employees in the Election Commission ensuring the independence of the Election Commission.

5

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Ordinance 2018: This Ordinance paved the way for the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the national election. The Ordinance gave the Election Commission authority to introduce the EVM system, approve the EVM format and EVM software, and take measures to ensure its safety.

6

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2023 (9 July 2023): This Amendment Act has empowered the authority to postpone or cancel the result of one or more polling stations at any time during the election due to the use of muscle power or any other reason. It also penalizes the offenders for hampering media men to perform their “lawful” duty during the election.

7

The National Parliament Delimitation of Constituency Act 2021: This Act act replaced a military regime-era ordinance in line with the court's judgment. This Act empowered the Election Commission to divide the country into as many single territorial constituencies as the number of members to be elected as per the Constitution.

8

The National Parliamentary Election (Electronic Voting Machine) Rules 2018: These rules prescribed the functions and responsibilities of the Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers to effectively deal with electronic voting machines in conducting national parliamentary elections.

9

The Independent Candidates (Verification of Support on Candidates) Rules 2011: This Rule prescribes a procedure to verify support for independent candidates in elections.

10

The Independent Candidates (Verification of Support on Candidates) (Amendment) Rules 2018 (31 October 2018): This Amendment empowered the Returning Officer to cancel the nomination of an independent candidate on grounds of a mismatch of the provided information.

11

The Conduct of Election (Amendment) Rules 2013 (14 November 2013): This Amendment empowered Banks to file an appeal against loan defaulter candidates regarding the validity of their candidacy.

12

The Conduct of Election (Amendment) Rules 2015 (16 May 2015): This Amendment included TIN Number as mandatory information to be provided by the candidates of elections.

13

The Conduct of Election (Amendment) Rules 2017 (12 February 2017): This Amendment provided for different symbols to be used by candidates in elections.

14

The Conduct of Election (Amendment) Rules 2018 (7 November 2018): This Amendment allowed online fill-up and submission of candidates’ nomination forms.

15

The Conduct of Election (Amendment) Rules 2023 (23 February 2023): This Amendment included third genders in the list of genders for the candidates and made the election process gender inclusive.

16

The Conduct of Political Parties and Candidates in Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Rules 2013 (24 November 2013): This Amendment provided further restrictions on Ministers, State Ministers, Deputy Ministers or people of equal rank to conduct election campaigns.

17

The Conduct of Political Parties and Candidates in Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Rules 2018 (31 October 2018): This Amendment provided an embargo on the use of living animals as electoral symbols during an election campaign.

18

The Establishment and Management of Polling Stations in National Parliamentary Elections Policy 2023: The Election Commission adopted this detailed policy to establish and manage the polling stations in the national elections.

19

The Establishment and Management of Polling Stations in the Elections of Local Government Institutions Policy 2023: The Election Commission adopted this detailed policy to establish and manage the polling stations in the elections for local government institutions.

20

The Foreign Observers Policy 2013: This policy provided for a procedure for the foreign observers in the election to get accreditation, visas, and all kinds of support required for them. It also prescribes a Code of Conduct for them to follow.

21

The Election Observers Policy 2017: This policy prescribes detailed rules regarding the registration of election observers, their registration, grounds for deregistration, code of conduct, and deployment.

Reforms of Laws related to Parliamentary Elections

22

Gazette Notification of final list of redrawn boundaries of 300 constituencies of the National Parliament: This gazette notification published on 01 June 2023 provides a list of redrawn boundaries of 300 constituencies for the national parliament under the National Parliament Delimitation of Constituency Act 2021.

23

Gazette Notification on Re-delineation of the Preliminary Boundaries of Constituencies of 300 Seats of the National Parliament for the 12th National Parliamentary Elections 2023: This gazette notification published on 26 February 2023 provided a list of Re-delineation of the Preliminary Boundaries of Constituencies of 300 Seats of the National Parliament, and invited appeals against the list thereof.

24

Gazette Notification of Final List of Redrawn Boundaries of 300 constituencies of the National Parliament for Upcoming National Parliamentary Elections 2023:

Reforms of Laws related to City Corporation Elections

25

The Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009: This Act empowered the Election Commission to conduct elections at the city corporation level.

26

The Local Government (City Corporation) Election Rules 2010: This Rules provides detailed guidelines as to how the Election Commission shall conduct an election at the City Corporation including preparation of voter list, appointment of presiding officers, withdrawal of officers, submission of nomination forms etc.

27

The Local Government (City Corporation) Election (Amendment) Rules 2016 (14 November 2016): This Amendment prescribed that political parties could nominate candidates in the city corporation election.

28

The Local Government (City Corporation) Election (Amendment) Rules 2019 (27 February 2019): This Amendment provides for a new list of symbols to be used by candidates nominated by political parties.

29

The Local Government (City Corporation) Election (Amendment) Rules 2021 (11 March 2021): This Amendment further amended the list of symbols to be used by candidates nominated by political parties.

30

The City Corporation (Conduct of Election) Rules 2016: This Rule provided several restrictions on the city corporation election candidates to conduct their election campaign.

31

The City Corporation Election (Electronic Voting Machine) Rules 2010: These rules provided for the use of electronic voting machines in the city corporation elections.

32

The City Corporation Election (Electronic Voting Machine) Rules 2019 (19 September 2019): This Rule repealed the previous rules regarding the use of electronic voting machines and updated the rules for the use thereof. 

Reforms of Laws related to Zilla Parishad (District Council) Elections

33

The Zilla Parishad Election Rules 2016: This Rules provides for detailed guideline as to how the Election Commission shall conduct an election at the Zilla Parishad including preparation of voter list, appointment of presiding officers, withdrawal of officers, submission of nomination forms etc.

34

The Zilla Parishad (Conduct of Election) Rules 2016: This Rules provided several restrictions on the zilla parishad election candidates to conduct their election campaign.

Reforms of Laws related to Upazilla Parishad (Sub-district Council) Elections

35

The Upazilla Parishad Election Rules 2013: This Rules provides for detailed guideline as to how the Election Commission shall conduct an election at the Upazilla Parishad including preparation of voter list, appointment of presiding officers, withdrawal of officers, submission of nomination forms etc.

36

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Amendment) Rules 2013 (5 December 2013): This Amendment provided further grounds of misconduct by any person for which a person will be penalized.

37

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Amendment) Rules 2014 (29 January 2014): This amendment provided an amended list of election symbols to be used in the upazilla parishad elections.

38

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Amendment) Rules 2015 (2 March 2015): This amendment provided methods for notifying the relevant parties, amalgamation of results from different polling station, and re-election procedures in case of equal votes.

39

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Amendment) Rules 2015 (5 April 2015): This amendment fixed the amount a woman representative candidate can spend to conduct her election campaign.

40

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Amendment) Rules 2015 (11 May 2015): This amendment required that the upazilla parishad election candidates submit their income tax identification number in the form prescribed.

41

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Amendment) Rules 2016 (21 December 2016): This Amendment prescribed that political parties could nominate candidates in the upazilla parishad election.

42

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Amendment) Rules 2017 (8 June 2017): This Amendment made rules for woman vice chairman election in the upazilla parishad.

43

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Amendment) Rules 2019 (27 February 2019): This Amendment provides for a new list of symbols to be used by candidates nominated by political parties.

44

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Amendment) Rules 2021 (11 March 2021): This Amendment provides for a new list of symbols to be used by candidates nominated by political parties.

45

The Upazilla Parishad (Conduct of Election) Rules 2016: This Rules provided several restrictions on the upazilla parishad election candidates to conduct their election campaign, particularly with regard to the use of government facilities.

46

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Electronic Voting Machine) Rules 2013: This Rules provided for the use of electronic voting machine in the upazilla parishad elections.

47

The Upazilla Parishad Election (Electronic Voting Machine) Rules 2019: This Rules repealed the previous rules regarding the use of electronic voting machine and updated the rules for the use thereof. 

Reforms of Laws related to Pourasava (Municipalities) Elections

48

The Local Government (Pourasava) Act 2009: This Act empowered the Election Commission to conduct elections in the Pourasava level.

49

The Local Government (Pourasava) Election Rules 2010: This Rules provides for detailed guideline as to how the Election Commission shall conduct an election at the Pourasava level including preparation of voter list, appointment of presiding officers, withdrawal of officers, submission of nomination forms etc.

50

The Local Government (Pourasava) Election (Amendment) Rules 2015 (16 February 2015): This Amendment provided for a list of election symbols to be used by candidates in the position of mayors, councilors of reserved seat, and councilors of general seat.

51

The Local Government (Pourasava) Election (Amendment) Rules 2015 (11 May 2015): This amendment required that the pourasava election candidates submit their income tax identification number in the form prescribed.

52

The Local Government (Pourasava) Election (Amendment) Rules 2015 (23 November 2015): This Amendment prescribed that political parties could nominate candidates in the pourasava election.

53

The Local Government (Pourasava) Election (Amendment) Rules 2017 (23 March 2017): This Amendment deleted several headings of expenditure from the prescribed Form to be listed by the Pourasava election candidates, and provided for an amended list of election symbols to be used by councils from reserved seats.

54

The Local Government (Pourasava) Election (Amendment) Rules 2019 (27 February 2019): This Amendment provides for a new list of symbols to be used by candidates nominated by political parties.

55

The Local Government (Pourasava) Election (Amendment) Rules 2021 (11 March 2021): This Amendment provides for a new list of symbols to be used by candidates nominated by political parties.

56

The Pourasava (Conduct of Election) Rules 2015: This Rules provided several restrictions on the pourasava election candidates to conduct their election campaign, particularly with regard to the use of government facilities.

57

The Pourasava Election (Electronic Voting Machine) Rules 2012: This Rules provided for the use of electronic voting machine in the pourasava elections.

58

The Pourasava Election (Electronic Voting Machine) Rules 2019: This Rules repealed the previous rules regarding the use of electronic voting machine and updated the rules for the use thereof. 

Reforms of Laws related to Union Parishad Elections

59

The Local Government (Union Parishad) Act 2009: This Act empowered the Election Commission to conduct elections at the Union Parishad level.

60

The Local Government (Union Parishad) (Amendment) Act 2010: This Amendment Act ensured further discretion of the Election Commission to delimit the area for wards.

61

The Local Government (Union Parishad) Election Rules 2010: This Rules provides for detailed guideline as to how the Election Commission shall conduct an election at the Union Parishad level including preparation of voter list, appointment of presiding officers, withdrawal of officers, submission of nomination forms etc.

62

The Local Government (Union Parishad) Election (Amendment) Rules 2015 (16 February 2015): This Amendment provided for a list of election symbols to be used by candidates in the position of chairman, members of reserved seat, and members of general seat.

63

The Local Government (Union Parishad) Election (Amendment) Rules 2015 (23 June 2015): This Amendment allowed the election commission to conduct election by the use of electronic voting machine or by secret ballots as it deems fit.

64

The Local Government (Union Parishad) Election (Amendment) Rules 2016 (10 February 2016): This Amendment prescribed guidelines in case of death of a candidate before election, required political parties to maintain and submit accounts of electoral expenditure in the election.

65

The Local Government (Union Parishad) Election (Amendment) Rules 2019 (27 February 2019): This Amendment provides for a new list of symbols to be used by candidates nominated by political parties.

66

The Local Government (Union Parishad) Election (Amendment) Rules 2021 (11 March 2021): This Amendment provides for a new list of symbols to be used by candidates nominated by political parties.

67

The Union Parishad (Conduct of Election) Rules 2016: This Rules provided several restrictions on the union parishad election candidates to conduct their election campaign, particularly with regard to the use of government facilities.

68

The Union Parishad Election (Electronic Voting Machine) Rules 2015: This Rules provided for the use of electronic voting machine in the union parishad elections.

69

The Union Parishad Election (Electronic Voting Machine) Rules 2019: This Rules repealed the previous rules regarding the use of electronic voting machine and updated the rules for the use thereof. 

Reforms of Laws related to the Voter List

70

The Voter List Act 2009: This Act provided for a more technology-friendly voter list conducive to maintenance of a computer-based database for registration of voters and subsequent updating of the said list.

71

The Voter List (Amendment) Act 2020 (28 January 2020): This Amendment Act expanded the scope of the Election Commission to update the voter list more frequently for a longer period of time.

72

The Voter List Rules 2012: This Rules prescribes ways and methods for voter registration by going from home to home, and appointment of officials for preparing the voter list thereby. It also prescribes their functions, duties and responsibilities.

73

The Voter List (Amendment) Rules 2014 (22 May 2014): This Amendment provided for a procedure to transfer a voter from one electoral constituency to another on grounds of change of residence, and correction of information in the voter list.

74

The Voter List (Amendment) Rules 2019 (11 April 2019): This Amendment included third genders in the list of genders for the voters and made the election process gender inclusive.

75

The Voter List (Amendment) Rules 2019 (29 September 2019): This Amendment allowed the non-resident Bangladeshi citizens to get enrolled in the voter list, provided guidelines and rules as to preparation of voter list using digital method.

76

The Voter List (Amendment) Rules 2021 (24 January 2021): This Amendment Rules expanded the scope of the Election Commission to update the voter list more frequently for a longer period of time.

77

The Voter List (Amendment) Rules 2023 (12 February 2023): This Amendment Rules prescribes an updated form to amend the voter list in case there is any mistake in voter information.

78

The National Identity Card and Reserved Information (Correction, Verification and Supply) Regulations 2014: This Regulation prescribes rules as to correction, verification and supply of information related to national identity and preserve the database.

Reforms related to Registration of National Identity

79

The National Identity Registration Act 2010: This Act empowered the Election Commission to conduct the national identity registration operation and issue national identity cards against citizens aged 18 or above.

80

The National Identity Registration (Amendment) Act 2013: This Amendment Act ensured that the citizens have a right to get their own National Identity Card subject to the prescribed rules. It also ensured accountability of the Election Commission officials to duly maintain the database by prescribing penal measures against any misuse of the database.

81

The National Identity Registration Rules 2014: This Rules provides for rules as to renewal of national identity, guidelines as to how to get a new national identity card in case it is lost or damaged, and fees required thereof.

82

The National Identity Registration (Amendment) Rules 2015 (12 February 2015): This Amendment prescribes updated fee for the purpose of the National Identity Registration.