2nd phase municipal polls Saturday

The second phase election to 60 municipalities will be held on Saturday with participation of two major political parties – Bangladesh Awami League and BNP – in the most of the election areas.

Three Awami League’s mayoral candidates – Golam Hasnain in Bhangura of Pabna, Habibur Rahman Maleque in Pirojpur and Hasina Gazi in Tarabo of Narayanganj – have already been elected unopposed.

Voting will start at 8am and continue till 4pm without any break in 60 municipalities, Election Commission’s Joint Secretary (Public Relations) SM Asaduzzaman told UNB on Friday.

Balloting will be held using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in 29 municipalities while traditional ballot papers will be used in the remaining areas. The ballot papers will be sent to the polling stations on Saturday morning, but the EVMs were sent to the election areas on Friday.

AL candidates are running for the mayoral posts in all municipalities but BNP-backed contestants are vying for the post in 55 municipalities. Jatiya Party has backed mayoral candidates in 11-12 municipalities.

Alongside Bhangura, Pirojpur and Rupganj, there is no BNP mayoral candidate in two other municipalities – Belkuchi of Sirajgani, Mohonganj of Netrakona.

The polls to only the mayoral posts are held with the use of election symbols of political parties, while election to the councillors posts and reserved seats will held in non-partisan manner.

A total of 216 mayoral candidates are running in 60 municipalities, while 724 women contestants are in the race for reserved seats and 2,234 contenders are contesting for councillor posts.

Some 2.2 million people are expected to exercise their franchise.

On December 22, the Election Commission announced the second phase election schedule for 61 municipalities, but polls to Syedpur municipality in Nilphamari was postponed following the death of a mayoral candidate.

The 60 municipalities include Nageshwari in Kurigram, Kakanhat, Arani and Bhabaniganj in Rajshahi, Birampur, Dinajpur and Birganj in Dinajpur, Gaibandha and Sundarganj in Gaibandha, Naldangha, Gurudaspur and Gopalpur in Natore, Nazirpur in Naogaon, Sherpur, Santahar and Sariakandi in Bagura, Iswardi, Bangura, Faridpur, Santhia and Sujanagar in Pabna, and Ullapara, Belkuchi, Siranjganj, Raiganj and Kazipur in Sirajganj.

The municipalities also include Kushtia, Beramara, Kumarkhali and Mirpur in Kushtia, Gagni in Meherpur, Shailkupa in Jhenaidah, Mongla port in Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Shariatpur, Magura, Boalmari in Faridpur, Tarabo in Narayanganj, Savar in Dhaka, Dhanbari in Tangail, Fulbaria and Muktagacha in Mymensingh, Mohonaganj and Kendua in Netrakona, Kishoreganj and Kuliarchar in Kishoreganj, Monohardi in Narsingdi.The rest municipalities are Chhatak, Sunamganj and Jagannathpur in Sunamganj, Madhabpur and Nabiganj in Habiganj, Kulaura and Kamalganj in Moulvibazar, Chandina in Cumilla, Basurhar in Noakhali, Sandwip in Chattogram, Khagrachhari, and Lama in Badarban.

The first phase election to 24 municipalities was held on December 28, while the third phase election to 64 municipalities will be held January 30 and the fourth phase polls to 56 municipalities on February 14 next.

Source: United News of Bangladesh