Incumbent Members of Parliament, who want to contest the 12th Jatiya Sangsad (JS) election as independent candidates, need not step down from the parliament.
A press release of the Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday clarified the issue as Election Commissioner Rashida Sultana on Tuesday said that incumbent MPs must have to resign if they want to take part in the JS polls.
In a media briefing on Tuesday in Rajshahi, Rasheda said, "You all know, MPs have to resign if they want to run as independent candidates. It says so in the law."
Independent candidates are required to submit their nomination papers along with a list of signatures from 1 percent of the total voters from their constituencies.
However, if they have been a Member of Parliament before, this partially signed list does not need to be submitted.
On Tuesday (28 November), citing the constitution, former election commissioner Kabita Khanam opined that MPs are not required to resign to participate in JS polls.
She also explained that after the announcement of the election schedule, the parliament limits its operation to routine work.
However, while MPs are not obliged to resign, they will not be entitled to have any government benefits for their electioneering, clarified the former EC.
According to sources, a large number of lawmakers, who have failed to secure party nominations, are going to take part in the polls as the independent candidates.
As per the schedule, the 12th JS polls will be held on January 7, political parties will be able to submit nominations for candidacies till today (November 30), the EC will scrutinise the nomination forms from December 1-4, appeals against the nominations can be submitted from December 5-6 and nominations need to be withdrawn by December 17.
In the circumstances, most of the political parties are now busy with their electoral process. They almost have completed their nomination process.