With just three days to voting in Chittagong City Corporation polls, tension is running high as the electoral violence continues to show no signs of ceasing
With the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) polls just around the corner, the "lightweight" mayoral candidates have demanded the Election Commission (EC) deal with the electoral violence and polls code breaches with an iron hand.
MA Matin, Bangladesh Islami Front
MA Matin, a mayoral candidate from Bangladesh Islami Front, said that the EC cannot live up to expectations of the people.
“The high-spirited electoral atmosphere is being marred by the ruling party’s internecine feud. The EC should take stern action against people who are spoiling the electoral environment,” Matin said.
“It is the responsibility of the EC to restore faith in the polls and ensure an environment so that the voters can exercise their voting rights without any fear,” Matin added.
“If elected, I will try to address the civic problems and present a habitable city to the residents,” Matin said.
Abul Manzur, National Peoples’ Party (NPP)
Abul Manzur of National Peoples’ Party (NPP) said that a sense of fear has gripped the voters and they are unsure if they will be able to go to the polling centres and return home safely.
“The situation may take a turn for the worse anytime due to the rebel councillor candidates of the ruling party. The CCC polls are going to be held with the EVMs for the first time. However, the EC has taken adequate initiatives to train up the voters about the EVMs,” said he.
Speaking about his electoral pledges, Manzur said that he would first identify the problems faced by city dwellers and take steps accordingly.
“I want to bring back the past glory of the port city as a healthy city,” Manzur said.
Jannatul Islam, Islami Andolon Bangladesh
Jannatul Islam of Islami Andolon Bangladesh said that the electoral atmosphere has been heated up due to the ruling party’s infighting.
“The voters are consumed by the fear of electoral violence which has already claimed a life. It is the responsibility of the EC to provide security to the voters so that they can cast votes freely. The EC should take all the steps necessary for holding the polls in free, fair, and credible manner,” said the mayoral candidate.
“If elected, I will first make the corporation free from corruption. I will not indulge in corruption myself and will not let anyone involve with corrupt practices. I will try to make the maximum use of the taxpayers’ money,” Jannatul added.
Md Wahed Murad, Islamic Front Bangladesh
Md Wahed Murad of Islamic Front Bangladesh said that electoral violence has unfortunately become a norm for the country.
“We have been demanding an independent Election Commission so that the constitutional body can perform its responsibilities freely. The recent polls held across the country speak volumes about the strength of the EC,” said Murad.
“I do not want to make any lofty promise. If elected, I want to turn the corporation into a service-oriented body in its truest sense,” said the mayoral candidate.
This time, seven mayoral candidates have entered the fray.