People can now freely vote in polls: PM

Rajshahi, Sylhet mayors take oath

Staff Correspondent

6 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said people can now vote for the candidates of their choice in any election thanks to the healthy democratic atmosphere in the country.

“Bangladesh’s democracy stands on a strong foundation. It is now proved that people of each area can vote for the candidates of their choice by exercising their voting right,” the premier said.

She came up with the remark at the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected Rajshahi and Sylhet city corporation mayors and councillors at her office.

The premier administered the oath to Rajshahi City Corporation mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton and Sylhet City Corporation mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury while the councilors took oath from LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain.

Ruling Awami League-nominated mayoral candidate won in Rajshahi while Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) candidate won in Sylhet city polls.

Besides, the councilors were elected from the ruling and opposition parties in the two city polls.

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the Awami League, said her government is fully committed to safeguarding the right of the people and it will certainly remain in their hands.

The premier advised the newly elected public representatives to work for the people.

“Irrespective of party affiliation, you must serve the people,” she said, assuring the mayors and councillors of providing all possible supports from the government.

Mentioning her struggle for strengthening democracy, the premier said her government has ensured the voting right of the people so that they can freely exercise their franchise.

Sheikh Hasina also warned of taking action against any sort of irregularities and corruption and acts of violence and militancy.

“Anyone irrespective of party affiliation, if found involved in corruption and acts of militancy and violence, will not be spared,” the premier said. 

She hopes that the elected representatives will always devote themselves to public welfare.

“We want to build Bangladesh as a developed country to make it a prosperous and peaceful country in South Asia…. It’s my ideology and goal,” Sheikh Hasina said.

Laying importance on a sustainable democratic system in the country, she said a country can prosper under democratic rule. Over the last 10 years, Bangladesh achieved a tremendous success in every sector due to uninterrupted democracy, she said.

The premier said her party came to power in 2009 with a commitment of change. “Today, you truly feel the change. People are being freed from poverty,” she said highlighting the socioeconomic development plan of her government.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100 has been prepared envisaging the next hundred years’ development plan. Bangladesh is now a developing country and we have to make it sustainable to go ahead, she said.

Disclosing her government’s plan to establish a medical university in Sylhet, the premier said her government never allocated budget for local bodies on political considerations.

“We have given huge allocation for development of the Rajshahi and Sylhet city corporations in the past and the government never considered the political affiliation of mayors, but welfare of the people.

“You are seeing the change of the country due to continuation of the government since 2009,” she said adding that the global community acknowledged Bangladesh as a role model of development.

Senior Secretary of the Local Government Division Jafar Ahmed Khan conducted the oath-taking ceremony.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Road Transport and Bridges Division Minister Obaidul Quader and political leaders of Rajshahi and Sylhet were present on the occasion.

Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation and 40 councillors and mayor of Sylhet City Corporation and 36 councillors were elected in the polls held on July 30.