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Dhaka Tribune

Ducsu polls on Monday

A total 42,923 voters under the age of 30 from 18 Dhaka University (DU) halls will be eligible to cast their votes to elect representatives to 25 central positions and 13 hall union posts

Update : 10 Mar 2019, 12:18 AM

After a 28 year hiatus, the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) and hall union elections are set to be held tomorrow.

A total 42,923 voters under the age of 30 from 18 Dhaka University (DU) halls will be eligible to cast their votes to elect representatives to 25 central positions and 13 hall union posts.

DU students will have to show their identity cards to exercise their franchise at the polls, from 8am to 2pm. Those who enter voting centres before 2pm will be allowed to vote, and the results will be announced later in the day. Special arrangements have been made so that visually-impaired students can also cast their votes.

The authorities have imposed a limit of two journalists from each print media outlet and four from each electronic media outlet for covering tomorrow’s historic polls, without specifying any reason for doing so.

Furthermore, live telecast, online streaming, and the carrying of mobile phones or other electronic devices have been banned in polling centres.

According to the final list published by the chief returning officer's office, a total 229 candidates are contesting 25 central positions, including 21 for vice president, 14 for general secretary, and 13 for assistant general secretary.

In addition, 11 candidates are contesting the Liberation War secretary post, nine each the science and technology secretary and common room and cafeteria secretary posts, 11 the international affairs secretary post, 8 the literary secretary post, 12 the cultural secretary post, 11 the sports secretary post, 10 the student transport secretary post, 14 the social welfare secretary post, and 86 the member posts.

In the hall union elections, a total 509 candidates are contesting 13 positions in each of the 18 halls.

Candidates contesting the Ducsu polls

From the Chhatra League panel, Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, Golam Rabbani, and Saddam Hussain will contest the posts of VP, general secretary, and assistant general secretary, respectively. Their counterparts from Chhatra Dal are Rahman, Anisur Rahman, and Khorshed Alam Sohel, while Liton Nandi, Faisal Mahmud, and Sadekul Islam will contest the posts from the leftist alliance

From Bangladesh Students’ Rights Protection Council, the platform which led the quota reform movement, Nurul Huq Nur, Mohammad Rashed Khan, and Faruk Hussain will contest the VP, general secretary, and assistant general secretary posts, respectively. Auroni Semonti Khan, Shafi Abdullah, and Amit Paramanik will contest the posts from the Independent Alliance.

From among the independent candidates, Dhaka University Journalists Association President ARM Asifur Rahman and Bangladesh Chhatra Federation DU chapter President Umme Habiba Benozir will contest the central general secretary post. Abu Raihan Khan will contest the central assistant general secretary post from the independent platform Sadhikar Sotontro Jote.

Ban on vehicles, live telecast and streaming 

The movement of 11 types of vehicles, with the exception of vehicles with special passes from the authorities concerned, will be restricted on the DU premises during the Ducsu and hall union elections. Archways and metal detectors will be installed at every voting centre.

Special security measures will be taken at the three entrances – the Nilkhet, Shahbagh, and High Court gates – of the university. Only voters and election officials carrying proper identification will be allowed to enter the campus through these gates during the polls.

DU students will be able to use designated vehicles, and outsiders have been asked to avoid the DU area and use separate routes to commute on election day, till 10pm.

Media workers will be allowed to enter guest rooms or designated areas in the voting centres, through the use of proper identification issued by the chief returning officer (CRO). However, live streaming or telecast directly from the voting centres is prohibited.

Moreover, all electronic devices, including cell phones, are banned inside the voting centres.

Ducsu in history

Ducsu was formed a year after DU was established in 1921. Student leaders of the university were at the forefront of the Language and Independence movements.

Although Ducsu elections are supposed to be held every year, there have only been six since the independence of Bangladesh. The polls were reportedly not held more frequently as successive university administrations and governments attempted to maintain their dominance on the DU campus.

University authorities have reneged on their promise to hold the election time and again since Ducsu was formally dissolved on May 28, 1998.

The last Ducsu election was held on June 6, 1990, during the tenure of former military dictator and current main opposition in parliament HM Ershad as president. The student body played a crucial role in ousting the dictator.

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