Bangladesh’s election commisioner Shakhawat Hossain told reporters in Dhaka yesterday that politcal parties will be required by law to register if they want to take part in future elections. He also said that this law will be enacted to serve three purposes: to bring transparency in the activity of the political parties, to promote democratic pratices within the parties and to prevent anyone but politicians to take part in elections.

He also said that no retired civillian government officials or military personnell will be allowed to participate in polls immediately after retirement – they will have to be engaged in politics for at least three years before they can run for office. Businessmen may also be barred from running office, he added. He was talking to reporters after a meeting with the Australian ambassador in Bangladesh in his office who offered to help the country’s fledgling election commission.

Bangladesh is currently going through a massive anti-corruption campaign under the leadership of interim government head Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, backed by the country’s defence forces.

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