Municipal polls generate enthusiasm

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Municipal polls, scheduled for December 30, has generated enthusiasm amongst voters as political parties have finalised their nominations of mayoral aspirants and the deadline for the submission of nominations for the candidates expires today.
The mayoral candidates will contest the elections to 233 of the 323 municipal councils for the first time with party nominations and the election symbols of the parties.
The elections to the posts of councillors for the general seats and councillors from the reserve seats for women will, however, be non-partisan as usual.
The ruling Awami League wants to use the first ever partisan municipal polls to prove the government’s popularity while the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party considers it as a scope for revamping the party, said respective party leaders.
Political atmosphere at grassroots-level also seems to become vibrant centring the polls amid apprehension of repetition of stuffing, capturing of booths and intimidation by the ruling party in recently held city corporation polls and the last general elections held on January 5, 2014..
The scrutiny of the nomination papers would take place in December 5-6 while the deadline for withdrawal of nominations would expire on December 13.
Election commissioner Md Zabed Ali on Wednesday said that the environment of the countrywide municipal polls would remain fully under the control of the Election Commission and the commission would ensure level-playing field for all candidates. ‘We will treat each candidate equally without considering their party affiliation,’ he added.
The Awami League on Wednesday afternoon completed distribution of letters signed by party president Sheikh Hasina, also prime minister, confirming party nominations of mayoral aspirant.
AL joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanok told reporters that the party nominated candidates would submit the letter along with their respective nomination forms for getting party’s election symbol, boat.
Party leaders said that leaders and activists at some municipal areas expressed their resentment over the
candidates selected by party high command. Two leaders, preferring anonymity, said that the party in a number of municipalities would face rebel candidates.
At Dhunat municipality in Bogra, supporters of incumbent mayor GM Badsha blocked road on Wednesday after he announced his resignation from the Awami League and vowed to contest the polls as an independent candidate as the party did not nominate him.
BNP assistant publicity secretary Emran Saleh Prince who was in the process of nomination and distribution of letters to the party aspirants told New Age that the distribution of letters was completed except for four to five municipalities.
The party was yet to finalise the nominations for Savar, Kalkini, Gopalpur and Rajbari municipal council till 9:00pm on Wednesday, party sources said.
BNP allocated one mayoral candidate from Jatiya Party (Zafar) and another from the Liberal Democratic Party, components of the BNP-led alliance.
Nomination letter for Jatiya Party candidate Mohiuddin Bara was given for Bheramara municipality in Khustia to contest the polls with sheaf of paddy, the election symbol of BNP.
LDP joint secretary general Shahdat Hossain Selim told New Age on Wednesday that BNP allocated LDP for mayoral candidate for Chandonais municipality and the candidate would contest the election with LDP’s election symbol umbrella.
BNP’s main ally Jamaat leaders, however, are contesting the polls as independent candidates. Local unit of Jamaat announced Amjad Hossain as their candidate for Manohardi in Narsingdi.
A Jamaat leader said that they would file nomination as independent candidates in about 100 municipalities as they could not reach any agreements with its alliance partner BNP over sharing the mayoral posts.
Jatiya Party (JP), an AL ally, handed over its nomination letters to 93 mayoral aspirants on Wednesday.

Source: New Age

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