Rajshahi, Khulna civic polls date announced

April 30, 2013

The Election Commission on Monday announced that the polls for Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet City Corporations will be held on June 15. Chief election commissioner (CEC) Rakibuddin Ahmed announced the poll dates at a press briefing at the EC office. Commissioners Mohammad Abu Hafiz; Brig. Gen. (retd) Md Zabed Ali, Md Shahnewaz, and Mohammad Abdul Mobarrak were present. “Nomination papers can be filed until May 12 and scrutiny will take place on May 15-16, while May 26 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations,” Ahmed added. Election to the city corporations was last held on August 8, 2008.
“The law stipulates that elections ought to be held to elect new representatives within 180 days before the end of tenure. However, we are ready to conduct the election as per the Local Government (City Corporation) Act, 2009, Article 34 (1)(B),” Rakibuddin Ahmed said.
“To ensure a free and fair poll, about 25 mobile forces, comprising police, armed police battalion (APBN), Ansar, rapid action battalion and Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) will be deployed,” he added.
He said electronic voting machine (EVM) will be used in one general ward for each city corporation on experimental basis.
Elections to the city corporations will be held on the basis of updated electoral rules and the commission has asked its officials to get ready to conduct the polls in a free and fair manner.
The EC is also preparing to hold the civic polls to the newly formed Gazipur City Corporation by July 16 as stipulated, the CEC added.
The CEC said that all public, private and autonomous offices, school and colleges and other institutions will remain closed on the day of election. The polls will begin from 8 am and continue till 4 pm without any break. “The regional election officers and district election officers will conduct the poll in four city corporations as returning and assistant Returning officers, as per the law,” he added.
When asked why the commission has announced the poll dates after the Saver tragedy, Ahmed claimed that there is no co-relation between the two things. “It is just a routine job,” he added.
According to the EC, the number of voters in Rajshahi City Corporation is 286,927, in Khulna it is 440, 647, in Barisal it is 210,530 and in Sylhet City Corporation the number of voters is around 291,057.

-With The Independent input

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