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Electoral System (Rules and Regulations)

Relations with the parties and media

3.1 The Election Commission maintains close contact and relations with all the political parties. On matters of election schedule, election process and over-all arrangement for election, dialogue is initiated with all political parties. Discussion on issues relating to voter registration, preparation and updating of electoral rolls and allied matters is also conducted with political parties.

3.2 Maintenance of peace and order figures prominently in the discussions the Election Commission conducts with the political parties. Efforts are made to seek
co-operation and understanding to ensure prevention of terrorism and violence before, during and after the polls. The Election Code of Conduct formulated in consultation with the major political parties is enforced on them for strict adherence, without any set-up or discrimination.

3.3 The Election Commission, after detailed discussions with all political parties, undertakes various tasks for :

a. updating the electoral rolls, setting up of polling stations, allocation of symbols to the political parties, preventing undesirable pre-poll activities by appointing Judicial Officers. In addition, vigilance and observation teams are set up at the grass root level to prevent pre-poll irregularities and untoward incidents.

b. Creating confidence among the people through improvement of the overall law and order situation, enforcement of the Election Code of Conduct, voter education programmes through mass media including radio and TV, posters, rallies and by providing security cover, both stationery and mobile, on the polling day.

c. Arranging participation of the political parties to observe the polling process, counting of votes, consolidation and declaration of results so as to make the entire polling process transparent to all.

3.4 The media play a vital role in publicizing various issues relating to election. The Election Commission carries on briefing of the media on regular basis so that people are informed of all developments. Problems, difficulties and complaints which are highlighted in the media are attended to promptly by the Election Commission on priority basis. The media also play an important role in educating the voters on the importance of their votes and also the need for their active participation in the electoral process. The Election Commission maintains close and regular contact with the media seeking co-operation for balanced, non-partisan news coverage and editorial views encouraged to offer constructive suggestions for improvement of the overall election environment and to express views impartially before and after the polling.

3.5 The Election Commission takes care to see that the state-owned newspapers and electronic media like radio and television provide balanced and objective news coverage of contesting political parties. In this behalf clear guidelines are prepared and issued for strict adherence, covering also speeches of the political party chiefs and interviews over radio and television. During the last election an innovative interview programme on TV called "SHOBINOYE JANTE CHAI" (May we know with due respect ?) to which major political parties were invited to express their views on various national issues through a question-answers session attracted massive attention of the people and was widely acclaimed.

Compiled from and many other reliable sources
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