Aspirants of AL, BNP kick off lobbying

Pub: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:56 PM   |   Upd: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:56 PM

Sheersha Khobor Dot Com

Ruling Awami League’s and the main opposition BNP’s mayor aspirants for Dhaka North and the South cities began hectic lobbying within their parties to draw the attention of party high ups.

Mayoral polls in Dhaka North City  and Dhaka South City must be held by the Election Commission  between mid-November 2019 and  mid-April 2020.

The aspirants became active since the mayoral polls are weeks away.

According to the Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009, elections must be held within 180 days before the five-year tenure of the incumbent mayor expires and the tenure begins on the first meeting of the city corporation.

The mayoral polls in Dhaka North City and Dhaka South City were held in April 2015 and the first meeting of the DNCC was held on May 12, 2015 and DSCC on May 15, 2015.

The Election Commission and government are keen to hold the elections in December, as the  e government would remain busy distributing school students books in January, the SSC Exams would be held in February and the celebration of ‘Mujib Borsho’ begins in March, said the officials in the election management department of the EC.

 EC officials said that there was a tentative plan to announce the schedule in mid-November for  holding the mayoral polls by December end.

About the matter EC addition secretary Mokhlesur Rahman told New Age that the commission was yet take the decision.

He said that there was a standing decision to use  Electronic Voting Machines in the mayoral polls.

Some aspirants of BNP showed their activities in the recent celebration programmes of the party’s founding anniversary while party insiders of AL also started holding discussions  inside the party about the probable candidates.

According the party insiders in both AL and the BNP, their mayoral candidates for Dhaka South City might be changed.

But both the parties’ candidates might remain unchanged for the Dhaka North City.

Tabitha Mohammed Awal,  BNP’s mayoral candidate for DNC, was defeated by Annisul Haq.

AL is likely to back incumbent Atiqul Islam, who succeeded Annis after his death.

In Dhaka south City AL is likely to change incumbent mayor Sayeed Khokon and BNP is also likely to replace Afroza Abbas as its candidate.

An AL presidium member and two secretaries told New Age that party leaders were in favour of replacing Sayeed Khokon as he failed to deliver.

They said that names of Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, MP, and former MP Mustafa Jalal Mohiuddin were discussed as alternative mayoral candidates for Dhaka south City.

About the preparation of AL for the city polls, AL local government nomination board member Jahangir Kabir Nanok told New Age that his party had taken ‘enough preparations’.

About the candidates, Nanok, also a joint general secretary of AL, said that the activities of the incumbent mayors would be reviewed to finalise the candidatures.

Senior BNP leaders said that they, after December 30, 2018 general election, their party refrained from taking part in the local government elections, especially upazila parishad elections, considering ground reality as people were angry as they were not allowed to cast their votes in the 2018 general election.

They said that there were instances that the polling centres were almost empty and people lost interests to go to polling centres which the leaders term ‘people’s silent protest’.

‘This is doubtlessly a bad omen for democracy and this situation should not be continue. Besides, leaders and activists want to participate in the election and we have a policy decision that we will participate the local government elections,’ BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy told New Age.

‘We are thinking to participating in the mayoral   polls but we are yet to take the decision in this regard,’ said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

‘Our party is moving on positive lines about the coming mayoral polls as part of our movement. By participating in the last general election we  exposed and unmasked the government and the election commission, BNP Dhaka south city president Habib-un-Nabi Sohel told New Age.

‘We will not allow the conspiracy of the government and the Election Commission to go unchallenged,’ he said.

Party insiders said that the names Mahila Dal president Afroza Abbas, BNP Joint Secretary General and Dhaka south city president Habib-un-Nabi Sohel, former Dhaka mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka’s son and BNP executive committee member Ishraque Hossain and BNP chairperson’s advisor Abdus Salam were  discussed in the party as the probable candidates.

Left Democratic Alliance leader Saiful Haque said that the LDA took the  decision to not participate to any elections under the incumbent EC and the government as the total electoral system collapsed during the December 30 general election.


Sheersha Khobor / A A

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