Bnp-led 20-Party’s reluctant nod to municipal polls

Bnp-led 20-Party’s reluctant nod to municipal polls

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Dhaka –The BNP-led 20-party alliance on Thursday night decided braving all adversities to join the December-30 municipality elections with ensuring a lone candidate in each of the 236 municipalities from the coalition.
However, the alliance did not formally announce its decision in this regard after the meeting of its top leaders with BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office. It is a difficult decision for the alliance to make following the dismissal or implication in cases of almost all opposition-suported mayors, latest arrests of opposition leaders and workers emasse from the districts plus all central leaders facing scores of cases or arrest warrants.Fariduzzaman Farhad, president of the BNP-led alliance’s partner National People’s Party, said all the members of their coalition agreed to take part in the elections. “We’ve decided to join the polls under the banner of 20-party alliance.”
He said the meeting also decided to give a single candidate from the alliance in each municipality to ensure the victory of their candidates.
Farhad said all alliance members were asked to submit the list of their parties’ candidates to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia by Friday.
The BNP chief will finalise the 236 candidates of the 20-party alliance to vie for the mayoral posts in the polls.
Farhad said the formal decision of the 20-party about joining the polls is likely to be announced on Saturday. The Bnp had in a reaction said the enacctment of law for Mayoral eletions on party lines was intended to get ruling party candidates elected with support from the administration. According to an annncement made by the Election Commission Addittional Deputy Commissioners (general) of the districts have been made returning officers for the elecctions while district election officers and Upazila Nirbahi Officers have been asked to assist them.
Briefing reporters about the nearly one and half hours meeting that began around 9pm, BNP spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon said, “The meeting elaborately discussed the municipality elections. Like BNP senior leaders, the alliance leaders also entrusted our chairperson with the authority to finalise decision about joining the polls.”
He said they will formally announce their decision on the election very soon.
BNP insiders said the party has already finalised the list of its mayoral candidates for the municipality elections. The party also formed a six-member committee comprising BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, vice chairman Abdullah Al Noman, chairperson’s adviser Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, BNP spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon and party’s central leader Imran Saleh Prince to monitor the elections.
BNP also formed 19 separate committees, headed by party senior leaders, to carry out electioneering in favour of their candidates and monitor elections in 19 greater districts where the municipality elections will be held.
Earlier on Wednesday night, Khaleda had a meeting with her party’s senior leaders, including standing committee members, at her office and discussed various issues relating to municipality polls, country’s latest political situation, organisational activities, party overhaul and party’s council.
A party standing committee member who had joined Wednesday’s meeting wishing said anonymity most of the senior leaders suggested their chairperson to go to the polls.
As per the schedule announced by the Election Commission, the elections to 236 municipalities out of the country’s 323 ones will be held on December 30.
The municipal elections will be held partly under party line for the first time as Parliament passed the Local Government (Municipality) (Amendment) Bill 2015 on November 19, paving the way for mayoral candidates to contest the elections with party symbols. – News Desk

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