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Dhaka Tribune

Awami League’s Khairuzzaman Liton eyes third term as RCC mayor

Voting in the seventh RCC election will take place through electronic voting machines in all 155 centres

Update : 20 Jun 2023, 11:37 PM

Voting in the Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) election will begin at 8am on Wednesday, with incumbent mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton hoping to retain power. 

This is the seventh RCC election since its establishment in 1987. But for the very first time in RCC's history, voting is taking place through electronic voting machines (EVMs) in all 155 centres.

The Election Commission recently identified 148 of the centres as important (risky) and seven as highly important (highly risky).

Rajshahi Metropolitan Police Commissioner Anisur Rahman on Monday said that every polling station is important on election day but some are of more significance.

Six to seven police officers will be deployed at each of the high-risk centres, in addition to Ansar members fulfilling duties at each station, he added. 

There are a total of 351,982 voters, including 180,972 women, to exercise their right of franchise in 1,153 rooms of the 155 polling centres in 30 wards till 4pm without any break.

Returning Officer Delwar Hossain said a total of 161 candidates remained in the election race, including three for mayor, 112 for general councillors in 30 wards and 46 for 10 reserved seats for women councillors.

Other than Liton (boat), the mayoral candidates are: Jatiya Party-backed candidate Saiful Islam Swapan (plough) and Zaker Party's Latif Anwar (rose).

The BNP has already boycotted the election and expelled 16 leaders of its Rajshahi city unit for defying the party decision by joining the polls race.

A five-tier security measure is in place as around 4,500 law enforcers will work to maintain law and order.

The Awami League's mayoral candidate, Liton, who is seeking a third term in office, on Tuesday said he was hoping for a 65% voter turnout.

He said the number of candidates for the posts of general councillors and reserved seats for women in all 30 wards, in addition to the mayoral candidates, are optimal. 

“So there will be no problems for voters,” said Liton, who first won the RCC polls in 2008.

On Monday, he said: “I want to keep the development spree going in Rajshahi and help the people of the city get employment.” 

“So I urge you all to give me another chance to serve you as mayor,” he said, appealing to city dwellers. 

Meanwhile, the Election Commission on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to Senior District Election Officer Abul Hossain after Rajshahi Metropolitan Awami League Organizing Secretary Mir Ishtiaq Ahmed Limon was spotted at his residence on Sunday night.

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