Brisk campaigning ends, Dhaka city polls Saturday

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

31st January, 2020 08:53:55 printer

Brisk campaigning ends, Dhaka city polls Saturday

Brisk campaigning for the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) ended on Thursday night amid festivity as per law as 54, 63,467 eligible residents of the capital city prepared to elect two new city fathers tomorrow (Saturday) by using the EVMs.

“No person shall convene, hold or attend any public meeting, and no person shall promote or join in any procession within the area of any election constituency during forty-eight hours prior to the start of the poll and ending at forty-eight hours after the conclusion of the poll,” according to the electoral law.

Around 54, 63,467 voters will cast their vote to elect the mayor and ward councilors and reserve word councilor posts in the election.

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said “None is conducting any search or raid in homes. We have told law enforcers that those who have no work in Dhaka should stay away from the city until the polls are over.”

“They have been also asked to take action against any unnecessary gatherings close to the polling centers,” he said

The Election Commission will distribute EVMs and other electoral materials on Friday.

For the first time, the entire elections will be held using electronic voting machines (EVMs) instead of traditional ballot papers. The voting will be held from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm without any break.

Mayoral and councilor candidates passed a busy time to woo voters until the last minute. Most of the heavyweight mayor candidates carried out hectic efforts to win the hearts of the electorate as they aimed to win in the keenly contested polls.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has completed all necessary preparation to hold free and fair elections.

Without taking measures against poll code violators, the EC has directed law enforcers to maintain peace for smooth mayoral elections which is under the local government.

The Returning officer of DNCC got 60 written complaints, while the DSCC got 107, with probes completed in most cases and defaulters, were warned.

A total of 876 out of 1,318 polling centers of DNCC marked risky while 721 out of 1,150 polling centers of DSCC marked as risky.

Thirteen aspirants are vying for the mayoral posts of the two city corporation while six for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and seven for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).

A total of 77 reserve councilors are vying for  18 reserve ward councillor posts of DNCC and 82 reserve councilors are vying for 25 reserve ward councillor posts of DSCC.

A total 251 councilors candidates are contesting for 54 wards of DNCC and 326 candidates are contesting for 75 wards of DSCC.

DNCC mayoral candidates are: Atiqul Islam of Awami League (AL), Tabith Awal of BNP, Shahin Khan of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), Fazle Bari Masud of Islami Andolon Bangladesh, Sajedul Haque of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Anisur Rahman Dewan of National People’s Party (NPP).

DSCC mayoral candidates are: Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh of AL, Ishraq Hossain of BNP, Saifuddin Ahmed Milon of Jatiya Party, Md Abdur Rahman of Islami Andolon Bangladesh, Bahrane Sultan Bahar of NPP, Md Aktar Uzzaman alias Ayatullah of Bangladesh Congress and Abdus Samad Sujan of Gono Front.

The DNCC has 54 wards while DSCC has 75 wards. One councillor from each ward is elected directly.

DNCC has 30,10,273 voters, 1,318 vote centres and 7,846 voting rooms while DNCC has 24,53,194 voters, 1, 150 vote centres and 6, 588 voting rooms.

The election commission imposed restriction to show of fire arms in the electoral area from 6:00am between January 30 and 12:00 AM on February 3.

It also imposed a 54-hour ban on the movement of motorcycles in the capital ahead of the city election from Thursday midnight until Sunday morning.

Movements of other vehicles have also been restricted for 18 hours but it will come into effect from Friday midnight in the election areas.

Operating of baby-taxi or auto-rickshaw, taxicab, microbus, jeep, pickup, car, bus, truck and other motor-driven vehicles will be restricted from January 31 midnight (12am) to February 1 evening (6pm).

Motorcycles and vehicles with EC’s stickers, vehicles of emergency services, including ambulance, fire service and postal department, will remain out of the ban’s purview.

A total 27 judicial magistrates have been deployed for DNCC while 37 judicial magistrates deployed for DSCC electoral area.

A total 43 executive magistrate 18 for DNCC and 25 for DSCC have been deploying during election campaign will be deployed for election duty from January 30 to February 2.

Without this 129 executive magistrate 54 for DNCC and 75 for DSCC have been deployed with mobile striking force.

The Election Commission has formed a central monitoring and coordination cell to monitor the law and order situation during the election.

The cell will monitor the overall security during the election and informed it to the commission, said a source of the EC.

They will also give direction to the law enforcers got from the commission immediately after any untoward situation. NID wing's Director General Brig Gen Mohammad Saidul Islam will lead the cell.

The cell will coordinate the arrangement of law enforcing agencies through the representative of each of the law enforcement agencies.