The much-awaited elections to the Dhaka North and South city corporations will be held on May 24, the Election Commission announced on Monday.
The last elections to the undivided Dhaka city corporation was held in April of 2002 in which Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka was elected mayor and held the office until Dhaka city was divided on November 30 last year although his tenure had expired in May 2007.
Chief election commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad announced the election schedule at a press conference at the EC’s conference room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka.
Election commissioners Mohammad Abu Hafiz, Mohammad Abdul Mobarak, Md Zabed Ali, Md Shanewaz, EC secretary Muhammed Sadique and the two returning officers attended the press conference.
Senior deputy secretary Mihir Sarwar Morshed has been appointed returning officer for the DCC north polls and electoral training institute director general Khandaker Mizanur Rahman, also a deputy secretary, for the DCC south elections.
According to the schedule, candidates can collect and submit nomination papers until April 19 and withdraw them by May 2. The commission will scrutinise the nomination papers in April 22-23.
DCC elections will be the first polls to be held under the incumbent EC that was instituted on February 9, 2012.
Over 38 lakh registered voters are expected to exercise their franchise to elect mayors for Dhaka North and South cities, 92 councillors for general wards and 31 councillors for wards reserved for women.
The EC will set up 1,084 polling stations for 21,72,427 voters in the Dhaka North city corporation polls and 873 polling stations for 16,80,499 voters of the Dhaka South city corporation polls.
Of the total of 38,52,926 voters in the two city areas, 20,61,482 are male voters with 11,44,604 males in the north.
The commission will require about 30,000 personnel from the law-enforcing agencies for security during the elections.
During the 21 days of hustings, 92 executive magistrates will be in charge of as many mobile courts in as many general wards. A judicial magistrate will be on duty for each three reserved wards.
The magistrates will monitor enforcement of electoral laws.
Ten teams of law enforcers will operate and strike in case of election violence. EC inspectors will visit all the wards to inform the commission about the latest election atmosphere.
Announcing the election schedule, the CEC sought cooperation from all, including the political parties and media houses, to hold the polls smoothly and peacefully.
Asked whether the commission did have any
plan to deploy army troops for the polls to maintain law and order, Rakibuddin Ahmad said, ‘The
commission will take necessary steps in accordance with the demand of the time.’
As for use of controversial electronic voting machines in the polls, the commission said it was planning to use EVMs. ‘But we will decide later how many polling stations will have EVMs.’
The previous EC headed by ATM Shamsul Huda in April 2010 had moved to hold the long overdue polls to the DCC in May the same year. But the Awami League-led government did not agree.
DCC was divided on Nov 30 last year with the passage of a law that set a 90-day deadline for holding the polls. But the Huda-led EC expressed inability to hold the polls by the stipulated time as its tenure was expiring early February.
In such a situation, the government again amended the relevant law on February 28 and extended the time limit for holding the polls, which will now expire on May 29.
Courtesy of New Age