All arrangements have been made to hold by-election to the mayoral post of Dhaka North City Corporation and elections to newly-added 36 wards to Dhaka’s two city corporations today.
The Election Commission (EC), local administration and other authorities concerned have taken all-out measures to conduct the polls in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Members of different law enforcement agencies have already been deployed at different strategic points of the city to maintain law and order situation and avoid any untoward incident.
The balloting will begin at 8:00 am and continue till 4:00 pm without any break. A public holiday has been announced in DNCC areas so that all voters can exercise their voting rights.
A total of five candidates are vying for the mayoral post. They are: Atiqul Islam from AL, Shafin Ahmed from Jatiya Party, Anisur Rahman Dewan from National People’s Party, Shahin Khan from Progressive Democratic Party and an independent candidate Abdur Rahim.
Elections to councillor posts in the 36 new wards — 18 under the DNCC and 18 under the Dhaka South City Corporation — will also be held today.
Some 124 candidates are vying for 18 wards of DNCC and 45 candidates are contesting for reserved councilor posts. On the other hand, some 125 candidates are vying for 18 wards of DSCC and 24 candidates are contesting for the reserved seats there.
Meanwhile, dwellers of city’s north region are all set to elect a new mayor who will fulfill their long cherished dream that once the capital will be a vibrant, healthy, livable, secure and modern city where they will be ensured all modern amenities.
They expect that the new mayor will complete the unfinished projects of the late mayor Annisul Haq.
Late Annisul Huq had dreamt of a beautiful city that would be freed from serious gridlock, grabbers, pollution and other bad elements. He had also taken various projects to this end. But following his sudden death, no significant development has been sighted.
The DNCC mayoral post fell vacant following the death of Annisul Huq on November 30, 2017. He was elected mayor on April 28, 2015.
On January 9 last year, the Election Commission had declared the schedule of the DNCC by-polls and election in the new wards, setting February 26 for the voting day.
The polls were not held as the HC stayed the election schedule for six months. The court order came following filing of three writ petitions that challenged the legality of the schedule.
On January 16, the court cleared the way for the DNCC by-election and election in the new wards.
The EC on January 22 announced the fresh schedule as the High Court lifted its stay orders on holding the polls.
Meanwhile, outsiders have been asked to leave the election areas by 12 midnight on Wednesday, but the examinees of public examinations will be beyond the directives.
No offices will remain open on that day in DNCC area. But public examinations will be held as per schedule. Those students who are residing in hostels or residences for study purpose will also be beyond the directives of leaving the election areas, according to returning officers.
Besides, the EC has imposed a ban on movement of motorbikes in DNCC areas for its by-polls from Wednesday midnight to Thursday midnight.
The other vehicles that also fall under the restrictions are auto rickshaws, easy-bikes, microbuses, pick-ups, cars, buses, trucks, cars and water vessels.
Talking to reporters DNCC polls Returning Officer Abul Kashem said ban on traffic movement will be relaxed on highways and inter-district roads inside DNCC considering the issue of public sufferings but vehicular movement on connecting roads will remain under ban.
Contesting candidates, election agents, local and foreign election observers and journalists, official and employees concerned to the election will be beyond the ban of vehicular movement on the basis receiving permission from returning officer.