EC plans to hold city polls in Dhaka and Chittagong on same day

The Election Commission Secretariat has said it is ready to organise polls to the Dhaka North City Corporation, Dhaka South City Corporation and Chittagong City Corporation simultaneously.

Election Commissioner Mohammad Abdul Mobarak on Tuesday said, “The chief election commissioner will call a meeting on DCC polls following the (government) request.

“The decision on the next course of action will be taken after the meeting.”

The election has not been held even after around two and a half years of DCC bifurcation. The term of the last elected DCC ended in May 2007 – five years after the last polls for the undivided DCC held in 2002.

The EC will have to hold election to the Chittagong City Corporation before the month of Ramadan, which according to the Arabic calendar starts in mid-June.

Those involved with the elections say balloting on the same day should be held in May after the HSC examinations.

The Local Government Division sent a letter to the EC on Monday asking it to hold the elections for the city corporations in Dhaka.

Mobarak Hossain said the final decision would have to be taken keeping in mind the current political situation and HSC examinations in April.

“We don’t want students to face any disturbances due to elections during public examinations. Election during Ramadan will not be right, too.

“Considering the constraints, we’ll have to think of holding the elections for two DCCs and Chittagong City Corporation on the same day,” he said.

He said there was no problem to hold the elections to the three city corporations simultaneously.

“The plan to hold the elections on the same day will be placed in the meeting of the commission. There will be no problem with deployment of law enforcers if the elections are held on the same day,” the election commissioner said.

EC officials said if the elections were held separately the results of the elections held earlier would influence the voters in subsequent elections.

Maintaining law and order and overall arrangement would also be easier if the elections were held on the same day, EC officials said.

Election Commission Secretary Md Sirazul Islam revealed the plan to hold the polls for Chittagong City Corporation in June.

Asked if they had a plan to hold the elections at once, he said they were ready to hold the polls on even the same day.

“We conduct elections across the country on same day. We are used to it.

“The Election Commission is ready to hold the elections in the city corporations on the same day. We had earlier organised elections to four city corporations simultaneously,” he reminded.

The Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad-led commission organised voting in city corporations in Sylhet, Barisal, Khulna and Rajshahi on the same day.

EC officials, too, were of the view that if the elections were to be held on the same day it should be held in mid-May after the HSC examinations.

In that case, they said, the candidates would get time to campaign until the second week of May provided the date to submit nomination papers was fixed for mid-April.

It would also not hamper the HSC examinations.

They also said if they were to hold the polls on a same day, the polls date for the Chittagong City Corporation would have to be brought forward from the first half of June.

Otherwise, the polls for the city corporations in Dhaka would have to be scheduled for the first half of June.

Source: Bd news24

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