Dhaka North City mayoral election Thursday

Dhaka, Feb 27 – The by-election to mayoral post of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and election to 36 ward councilor posts and 24 for women reserved seats in 36 new wards under both the DNCC and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) are being held today amid a boycot by major opposition BNP and its allies.
Business community leader Atiqul Islam is contesting the by-election for the mayoral post of DNCC with the ‘boat’, the poll symbol of ruling Awami League that fielded him as the party candidate.
The mayoral post fell vacant at the death of former mayor Annisul Haq on November 17 in 2017. The polling will begin at 8:00am and continue till 4:00pm without any break, according to EC sources.
BNP, the arch rival of the ruling AL, has fielded no mayoral candidate this time as the party that rejected the last general elections decided not to take part in any election under the present government.
Shafin Ahmed of opposition Jatiya Party is contesting for the mayoral post with party symbol ‘plough’ and Anisur Rahman Dewan of NPP with ‘mango’, Shahin Khan of PDP with ‘tiger’ and independent candidate Abdur Rahim with ‘table clock’.
EC sources said a total of candidates are vying for the mayoral post of DNCC. 116 candidates are contesting for 18 ward councilor posts and 45 against 12 women reserved seats in DNCC. Besides, in ward no. 9 a single candidate has been elected uncontested and seven candidates are contesting in the by-election in ward no. 21 of the DNCC.
There are 125 candidates for councilor posts in the 18 extended wards under the DSCC and 24 against 12 women reserved seats.
A total of 3035,621 voters are expected to cast their votes in the DNCC election, of them 1563,530 are male while 1472,091 are female voters. The number of polling centers is 1295 while there are 6482 polling booths in DNCC.
In 18 extended wards in DSCC, there are 590705 voters, of them 298285 are male while 292420 are female. There are 243 polling centres and 1472 polling booths.
The Election Commission has already taken necessary measures to hold the elections in a peaceful manner about two months after the December 30 parliamentary elections.
The electioneering that ended Tuesday midnight couldn’t get a momentum this time any many registered political parties do not take part in the election despite it is being held based on partisan basis.
Returning officer of DNCC Abul Kashem told reporters that they have already taken all necessary measure to hold the election in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
The by-election for the DNCC mayoral post will be held in 54 wards under the DNCC while election to 36 extended wards, 18 in each under the DNCC and DSCC will be held to elect 36 new ward councilors and 12 women councilors against reserved seats.
EC sources said no rally, procession or meeting will be allowed in the in the election areas under the two city corporations till Saturday midnight. Besides, there will be a ban of plying of motor vehicles for 24 hours from Wednesday midnight while movement of motorcycle will also be prohibited till Friday midnight.
However, the restriction on movement of motor vehicles on the highways under the two city corporations and major roads connecting the city will remain relaxed during the time, sources said.
The contestant candidates, their agents, local and foreign observers, journalists, law enforcers as well as ambulance, fire service, power, gas, post and telecommunications departments will also be from out of the purview of the restriction.
There will be a public holiday in DNCC and 18 wards under DSCC to mark the elections.
The authorities have taken tight security measures to ensure law and order during the elections. A total of 72 magistrates will operate mobile courts in DNCC while 24 in the DSCC during the elections. – Staff Reporter
Motor vehicles allowed in major roads in capital during election
Dhaka, Feb 27 – Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda yesterday said that the motor vehicles could plying on the major roads in the city during today’s by-election for the mayoral post of the DNCC and election to extended wards to both the DNCC and DSCC.
“The Election Commission (EC) has restricted on movement of motor vehicles during the elections to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). However, the restriction was not imposed for the major roads in the two cities,” he said at press briefing at the EC secretariat a day ahead of the elections.
The CEC said the examinees would be able to use private cars by shoeing their admit cards and they cannot use cars for moving around.
He explained that there are many emergency issues in the capital city of Dhaka. Thus, police has been instructed to control vehicle movement considering flight passengers, ambulance and export-import related vehicles.
“The vehicle movement has not been suspended in a broader approach. Buses will move in the main roads, he told a questioner.
Regarding the movement of private cars, Huda said the private cars cannot move except for emergency task and cars would not be allowed on the city roads for moving around.
EC secretary Helaluddin added that the motor vehicles would ply on the major roads and private cars could ply with taking stickers from them.
On a public holiday, he said the holiday will be effective in the entire city of Dhaka and all the government offices and schools and colleges will remain closed today.
Asked to comment on boycotting the election by many political parties including the BNP, the CEC said the commission is at an embarrassing situation with an absence of many political parties in the elections.
“We have been happy if all the political parties would take part in the election. It is embarrassing for us that many parties do not take part in the election,” he explained.
He, however, justified that they have nothing to do as all the political parties do not take part in the poll since it is their political decision.
The CEC said they have no failure or weakness rather they have taken all-out preparation to hold the election in a free manner.
He suggested the polling agents to stay at the polling centres until the completion of vote counting and they receive the result sheets.
Huda said they would take legal action quickly if any allegation of partiality against any official, member of law enfacing agencies is proved. – Staff Reporter