The Election Commission on Tuesday at a meeting proposed 10 new symbols to replace previous household items for women candidates.
Symbols like, frying pan, necklace, comb, flower and vegetable have been dropped, said EC Joint Secretary Md Shahjahan. “No such symbols will be allotted in the upcoming UP polls which might insult female candidates,” EC Secretary added.
The new symbols include, pen, camera, book, giraffe, megaphone and helicopter. The EC is also changing symbols for chairman and councilor aspirants.
Election Commissioner Md Shahnewaz said that they are now discussing over the proposed electoral rules and code of conducts for the upcoming Union Parishad (UP) polls. It will be finalised in a few days and forwarded to the law ministry for vetting, he added.
EC was strongly criticised for allotting household items to women during the city polls in April and the recent polls to 234 municipalities in December last year.
The minutes of Tuesday’s meeting shows that Election Commissioner Abdul Mobarak had reservations over flowerpot and calculator as symbols. He said that the calculators ‘cannot be displayed clearly’ in posters and much of the rural population have ‘never seen’ a flowerpot.
In February 2015, the EC published the gazette for symbols to be used in local body polls. But it had then come under fire from civic bodies and rights organisations for allotting household items for female candidates. The EC plans to hold elections to 4,500 Union councils across Bangladesh from March this year, according to bdnews24.com. -Mithun