Monday, June 24, 2024


Dhaka Tribune


Barisal goes to ‘BNP-less’ polls braved by Awami League

Seven candidates are vying for the mayoral post while 119 councillors for general post and 42 for reserved posts in the polls

Update : 12 Jun 2023, 11:24 AM

Voting starts from 8am on Monday at 126 polling stations of Barisal City Corporation in a much-hyped election that is boycotted by the BNP and is considered an acid test of the ruling party-backed mayoral candidate to retain the party's dominance.

This comes amid BNP warning its members and supporters against voting. The party has already ward-based monitoring cells regarding this. BNP expelled its 19 leaders, including a mayor hopeful, for joining the polls fray. 

The Election Commission on Saturday warned of tougher actions against the use of muscle power and irregularities during the voting.

Seven candidates are vying for the mayoral post while 119 councillors for general post and 42 for reserved posts in the polls, with the ruling party backing a new candidate.

A total of 1500 Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and other election materials reached the polling stations on Sunday.

A total of 276,298 voters—137,489 male and 138,809 female—will exercise their franchise.

Returning Officer Humayun Kabir on Sunday said the election environment is cent percent fair, urging voters to go to their respective polling stations to cast their vote.

About 4,500 members of law enforcement agencies, 10 platoons of BGB, 30 executive magistrates, and 10 judicial magistrates are working for the polls.

Awami League mayoral candidate Abul Khair Abdullah (Khokon Seniabat) will cast vote at Government Barisal College center on Kalibari Road, Jatiya Party's candidate Iqbal Hossain Taposh at Syed Abdul Mannan DDF Alim Madrasa centre on Gorsthan Road, Islami Andlan Bangladesh's Mufti Syed Muhammad Faizul Karim at A Rob Serniabat Secondary School center in the city. 

Taposh alleged that the ruling party men are involved in making a blueprint to influence the votes.

At a press conference in the city on Sunday, he said: “There is no level-playing field here yet and the administration has failed to show their neutrality.”

Taposh also alleged that the intruders with the help of Awami League are bribing voters.

The ruling party men are violating the electoral code of conduct, he said.

Meanwhile, Khokon expressed hope that BNP supporters alongside general voters will also vote for him on the question of development.

The Awami League candidate is an uncle of incumbent mayor Serniabat Sadiq, who was denied the party nomination reportedly over factional feud among other allegations.

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