An analysis of information from the candidates’ nomination papers and wealth statements revealed that most of the Barisal City Corporation election candidates are wealthy businesspeople with low educational backgrounds.
Out of 163 candidates 67 (41.10%) have studied up to Class VIII, 26 (15.95%) passed the SSC exams, 27 (16.56%) passed the HSC, 28(17.17%) are graduates and 14 (8.58%) have completed post-graduate studies. One of the candidates did not mention any educational qualification.
Of the three mayoral candidates, the 18-party alliance candidate Ahsan Habib Kamal has passed the HSC, 14-party alliance-backed candidate and outgoing mayor Shawkat Hossain Hiron has an undergrad degree and Jubo League leader Mahmudul Hoque Khan Mamun has two master’s degrees in Economics and Management.
A total of 115 candidates are vying for posts of general councillors. Of them, 44 have attended school up to Class VIII, 20 passed the SSC exams, 17 passed HSC, 20 candidates have honours or equivalent degrees and 11 have master’s degrees.
Of the 45 reserved women councillor candidates, 24 have studied up to class VIII, six passed the SSC, seven passed the HSC, eight are graduates and two have master’s degrees.
A total of 92 candidates own businesses (56.44%), seven have jobs (4.29%), six are lawyers (3.68%) and five are farmers (3.06%). 26 candidates (15.95%) said that they are housewives or housekeepers and 20 (12.26%) checked “others” as profession. Seven candidates (4.29%) did not state their professions.
All of the mayoral candidates are businessmen having properties worth between Tk1.5m and Tk107.8m. Their annual incomes range from Tk230,000 to 34.6m.
One of the mayoral candidates has cases filed against him, as do 30 general councillor candidates and three reserved women councillor candidates. All three mayoral candidates, 32 general and two reserved women councillor candidates have been accused in cases prior to the elections.