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City polls: Who are the prospective faces from AL and BNP?

  • Published at 10:55 pm December 24th, 2019
Rajib city polls 02
File photo: A voter being marked with indelible ink to complete the voting process Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

AL to distribute nomination forms from today, BNP from tomorrow

The key political parties including ruling Bangladesh Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are all set to contest at upcoming mayoral polls in south and north Dhaka billed for January 30.

Awami League will begin distribution of nomination papers from today while BNP will start it from tomorrow.  

Both the parties will finalize their candidates of mayoral race on December 28, 2019.

The Election Commission (EC) has set January 30 for the election of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC). 

Aspirants can submit their nomination papers until December 31 to the EC and it will be scrutinized on January 2, while last date of candidature withdrawal is January 9. 

Voters will elect mayors and councilors through using Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in all centres, as per schedule announced by EC.

However, BNP is suspicious about the use of EVM claiming that “government will use it as part of a conspiracy.” 

“We know there will be no fair election also this time when EVMs are used. We will continue to be against use of EVM till last day of Dhaka city elections,” said Khandoker Mosharraf Hossain, BNP Standing Committee member. 

However, Awami League mayoral candidate Sayeed Khokon said use of EVM will be as per rules of City Corporation Law.

Who are the candidates from AL?

DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon and DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam have already expressed their optimism about being nominated from rulling Awami League for the mayoral race again. 

Both of the candidates are already seeking votes for them during public events. 

Besides, Najibullah Hero, newly selected law affairs secretary of AL central committee, has also expressed optimism to get party ticket for the DSCC mayor post.  

Similarly, Adam Tamizi Haque, founder chairman of Manobik Dhaka is also trying to get ticket from AL for the DNCC polls. 

Current DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon said “As I am working hard and soul for developing the city, I am confident that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will select me as mayor candidate.”

The nomination of Atiqul Islam from Awami League is almost confirm as he gets only nine months to serve DNCC during his present stint after the death of his predecessor Annisul Haq.  

“I got only nine months (as mayor), which is not enough time to change the city. So I am hopeful to get nomination again from Awami League to build Dhaka as smart city,” Atiqul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune. 

“Nomination paper distribution will continue until December 27 from Awami League president’s office in Dhanmondi,” said AL office secretary Biplob Barua. 

Who are the candidates from BNP? 

BNP will start selling of party nomination papers for Dhaka city polls on December 26 and the last day of submission of papers is on December 27.
 Despite, it is not finalized yet that who will get the party’s nomination but several candidates are optimistic to contest in the city polls.

BNP executive committee member Tabith Awal is at forefront of getting BNP nomination for the DNCC polls. Tabith, also elder son of a senior BNP leader, Abdul Awal Mintoo, contested in the last mayoral polls in 2015. He boycotted the polls halfway through protesting vote rigging then. 

On the other hand, Eshrak Hossain, son of late BNP leader and a former mayor Sadek Hossain Khoka is likely to get nomination in mayoral race of DSCC from BNP.

“The party wants new leadership. Following hint from high commands, I have been preparing myself for last three months. I am hopeful to get party ticket,” Eshrak said. 

He, however, apprehended that election with EVM is vulnerable to manipulations. 

Afroza Abbas, president of Mohila Dal, is also a prospective candidate for DSCC polls. 

The nomination board will sit on December 28 to finalize their candidates of the city corporation elections.

BNP Standing Committee member Khandoker Mosharraf Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune that the party is positive about participation in the city corporation elections because it is the only way to reach close to the people.

Others parties:

Jatiya Party (JaPa) is also likely to participate in the mayoral race, but it will discuss with Awami League if the ruling party offers them to form an alliance.

Kazi Firoz Rashid, presidium member of JaPa said “Nomination form distribution will begin from Thursday.”

Besides, Islami Andolan Bangladesh is likely to participate in the election separately.

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