The upcoming mayoral polls has once again brought forth the issue of free and fair election by one opposition party despite the commitment by the Election Commission as well as the governing party of taking all out steps for all-acceptable voting.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has requested the voters to turn up in force to exercise their right of franchise at the polling centers.“We will ensure security so that you can return home safely after casting your votes,” he said recently, hoping that the elections would be competitive and open for all.
Casting doubt over free polls under the ruling Awami League-led government, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Secretary General of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said “fair election is impossible under this government.”
“BNP has participated in the last general election to prove that elections will not be held in a free, fair and credible manner under the Awami League-led government,” he said.
“We are going to participate in the elections to the two city corporations of Dhaka this time too,” he added.
Brushing aside the BNP’s claim, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said that they hoped for a competitive election.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants to make these elections free, fair and credible. Nothing will happen whoever wins the polls,” he said.“The government will provide all assistance to the Election Commission in holding the election in a free, fair and credible manner,” he said.
Last elections to DSCC and DNCC were held in 2015 and Sayeed Khokon and Annisul Huq were elected mayor of DSCC and DNCC, respectively.
In the upcoming mayoral polls, Awami League’s candidates are Atiqul Islam and Fazle Noor Taposh, while for BNP Tabid Awal and Ishrat Hossain.
Later, Atiqul Islam was elected mayor as the mayoral post of DNCC fell vacant with the death of Annisul Huq on November 30, 2017, two and half years into his tenure.
Earlier on December 22, the EC announced the schedule for holding elections to two Dhaka city corporations slated for January 30 next year.
The last date of candidature withdrawal is January 9.