Parliament on Thursday passed the much-hyped ‘Local Government (Municipality) (Amendment) Bill 2015’, paving the way for arranging the election only to the mayoral post of the country’s municipalities on partisan basis, reports UNB.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain piloted the bill in the House, which was passed by a voice vote rejecting amendment motions placed by the opposition and independent MPs.
With the passage of the bill, the candidates nominated by different political parties registered with the Election Commission or independent aspirants will be able to contest the polls for the mayoral posts of the country’s 324 municipalities.
However, polls of the remaining councillor posts, including reserve seats for women, of the municipalities will be held in non-partisan manners in the existing system.
The bill will pave way for using symbols of registered political parties in the mayoral post election.
On Wednesday last, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry Abul Hasnat Abdullah placed its reports on the bill and three other amendment bills related to City Corporation, Upazila Parishad and Union Parishad in the House aiming to make elections of mayoral or chairman posts of the four local government bodies in partisan manner.
The Local Government (Municipality) Bill 2015 has been passed on priority basis as most of the country’s municipalities are going to fulfill their five-year tenure in February next.
The Election Commission has a plan to arrange elections in some 240 municipalities by December 30 next.
Under the existing parliamentary system of democracy in Bangladesh, only the national election is held along party lines, but there was no scope for holding polls in local government bodies, including municipally on partisan basis.