The Election Commission (EC) will cancel the candidature of mayoral aspirants if they find any link between the candidates and political parties during the election campaign.
As part of its regular duties to make the election process fair and free of undue influence, the commission has taken several steps. One of these measures will entail efforts to stop political influence during the mayoral elections in four city corporations across the country.
The EC is set to conduct the elections in Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet City Corporations on June 15.
“We issued a letter to the regional election officers and district election officers to serve warning letters to the candidates who will contest the elections for the mayoral post, saying that ‘their candidature would be cancelled if the commission finds any link of the candidates to any political party’,” election commissioner Md Shahnewaz said on Monday.
“No party can directly take part in the city corporation elections. So we will take action if we find anything amiss in this regard,” the commissioner said.
He said the upcoming city corporation elections are going to be a straight fight between the ruling and Opposition alliances as rival candidates against the contestants backed by the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have withdrawn from the race. “So we will have to pay extra care for stopping violence and chaos during polls,” he added.
According to the EC, a team of 15 magistrates has been appointed in each city area to maintain law and order.
“To ensure that all can participate in the elections and that they are free from fear, around 25 mobile strike forces comprising personnel of the police, the Armed Police Battalion (APBN), Ansar battalion, the Rapid Action Battalion and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will work in the field to keep the law and order situation under control,” the commissioner said.
The withdrawal of candidatures took place yesterday. A total of 24 mayoral aspirants had submitted nominations to contest the elections to the four city corporations.
The last elections to those city corporations were held on August 8, 2008. Elections to the four city corporations became overdue after March 2012.
According to the EC, the number of voters in Rajshahi City Corporation is 2,86,927, in Khulna it is 4,40,647, in Barisal it is 2,10,530 and in Sylhet City Corporation, the number of voters is around 2,91,057.
-With The Independent input