Ruling Bangladesh Awami League will announce its two mayoral candidates today (Sunday) while Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) nominated its two candidates on Saturday.
BNP has nominated its central executive member Tabith Awal as the candidate for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Engineer Ishraq Hossain for the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).
Although the Local Government Nomination Board of Awami League held a meeting at the Ganabhaban, the government residence of the Prime Minister, Saturday night, it did not announce its candidates. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Awami League, chaired the meeting.
After the meeting, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader told media that names of the nominated candidates of AL would be announced on Sunday.
Sources said a dilemma over the candidate nomination has been created when Fazle Nur Tapos has appeared as the candidate for the DSCC mayoral post, which is a challenge for incumbent mayor Sayeed Khokan.
It is worth to be mentioned that a total of 20 candidates from Awami League collected party nomination forms and submitted for approvals of candidacy. Of them, 12 candidates collected nomination forms for DNCC mayoral post while eight for DSCC.
Fazle Nur Tapos, the Parliament Member from Dhaka-10 Constituency, present Mayor of DSCC Mohammad Syeed Khokon, Haji Mohammad Selim, MP from Dhaka-7 Constituency, Sheikh Russel Jatiya Shishu Kishore Parishad Advisor Najmul Haq and former Secretary General of Central Command Council of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad MA Rashid and AL’s Law Affairs Secretary Nazibullah Hiru, among others, have collected nomination forms from the party for the DSCC mayor election.
On the other hand, present DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam, Bangabandhu Foundation Joint General Secretary Shahidullah Osman and Bhasantek AL unit Vice President Yaad Al Fakir, among others, have collected party’s nomination forms for DNCC mayor polls.
Besides, around 1,093 other candidates from the Awami League also collected and submitted party nomination forms for the post of 172 word councilor posts.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Jatiya Party, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Islamic Andolan Bangladesh and Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) are also taking part in the election. The aspirants also have collected nomination forms from their respective party offices for the two Dhaka city polls.
BNP on Saturday evening finalised its two mayoral candidates for the DSCC and DNCC election. Party sources said, BNP central executive member Tabith Awal has been nominated for the DNCC Mayoral post while Engineer Ishraq Hossain, son of former DCC Mayor and BNP leader late Sadeque Hossain Khoka, for the DSCC.
The decision came through a meeting of the party’s parliamentary board held at Gulshan, the political office of the BNP Chairperson.
At the end of the meeting, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir briefed media about the party nomination.
It should be mentioned that Dr Asaduzzaman Ripon had also collected BNP nomination form for the DNCC mayor post. As many as 300 candidates collected BNP nomination forms for the councilor posts for the two city corporations.
On the other hand, Jatiya Party is yet to finalise its candidates.
Party sources said Brig. Gen. (retd.) Kamrul Islam collected nomination form for the mayoral post of the DNCC, while Hazi Saifuddin Ahmed Milon and Alamgir Sikder collected party nomination papers for the mayoral post of the DSCC.
Besides, Islamic Andolan Bangladesh’s Maulana Sheikh Fazle Bari Masud collected party nomination form for DNCC mayoral post while Alhajj Abdur Rahman for DSCC mayoral post, party sources said.
There are 75 word councilor posts and 25 reserved seats (exclusively for women) in DSCC and 54 word councilor posts and 18 reserved seats in DNCC.
According to Election Commission, there are some 54 lakh voters in the capital’s two city corporations. Of them, 30.36 lakh are under 54 wards in DNCC and 23.67 lakh under 75 wards in DSCC. In the upcoming elections, the number of possible polling stations will be 2,500 in the two cities. On December 22, the Election Commission announced the schedule for the DNCC and the DSCC elections. The last date for submission of nomination papers is December 31 and the last date for withdrawal of candidacy is January 9. The EC will scrutinize nomination papers on January 2.
Meanwhile, expressing hope that the upcoming elections will be fair and held peacefully, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Saturday said electronic voting machines or EVMs will be used in polls to the two Dhaka City Corporations.
The CEC came up with the announcement while talking to reporters after exchanging views with election commission officials of district and upazila levels at Barishal’s regional election office.
He also hoped that the elections for the two Dhaka city corporations will be competitive.
EVMs were first used in Bangladesh in the 2012 Chattogram municipality polls. It was later used in Narayanganj and Cumilla polls. The machines were also used in the last general election.