Rangpur city polls on Dec 20

Dhaka, Nov 5 (bdnews24.com) — The newly-created Rangpur City Corporation goes to polls on Dec 20.

The Election Commission announced the election schedule on Monday.

Aspirants will have to file their nomination papers by Nov 18 for contesting the elections, in which Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used ‘partially’.

The Rangpur City Corporation has a total of 3,57,742 voters.

Election Commissioner Mohammad Abdul Mobarak announced the poll schedule as the Chief Election Commissioner is in the United States now to observe elections there.

This will be the first local government election of the current Election Commission, which took office in February.

According to the schedule, the nominations will be scrutinised on Nov 21 and 22, and the candidates will be able to withdraw their candidature until Nov 29.

As mandated by the law, the elections are going to be held within 180 days of creation of the Rangpur City Corporation.

The Rangpur Municipality was upgraded to the country’s 10th city corporation on July 1 with effect from the same day as part of an election pledge of the Sheikh Hasina government.

Rangpur is the stronghold of HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party which is a key ally of the ruling Awami League.

The Election Commissioner said Rangpur Regional Election Officer Monirul Islam would be the Returning Officer for the polls, while district election officers Nuruzzaman Talukder, Khademul Islam, Tajul Islam and Abdur Rahim would act his deputies.

There are 33 general wards and 11 reserve wards under the Rangpur City Corporation where the voters will cast their votes at 1,200 booths at 190 polling centres, according to the Commission.

The number of male voters is 1,79,128, while there are 1,78,614 female voters in the city corporation.

Commissioner Mobarak, however, could not say at how many centres EVMs would be used as it would depend on the availability of the machines, which the Election Commission has been using in a restricted way amid opposition BNP’s reservations.

Officials confirmed bdnews24.com that the Election Commission had instructed the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) to prepare 1,100 voting machines.

So far, the current Commission has organised Gazipur-4 by-election. Tangail by-election is due to be held on Nov 18.