Voting begins in Rangpur city polls
Rangpur: Voting began in Rangpur City Corporation election on Thursday morning amid a four-tier security measure having the presence of over 5,500 security personnel.
The voting began at about 8:00am and will continue till 4:00pm without any break at 193 polling stations.
Of the polling stations, 128 are said to be vulnerable, or at risk of seeing violence. A security team, numbering 22-25, will guard every polling station.
Claiming that the situation is fully under control of the Election Commission, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Wednesday hoped that the election will be held in a credible manner.
‘We hope it’ll be possible to arrange the election in fair and credible manner. The situation is in favour of us,’ the CEC told a press conference at the city’s Nirbachan Bhaban.
He said the Election Commission (EC) has already taken all the necessary preparations for the election.
Seven candidates are there in the election race for the mayoral post, while 211 candidates for ward councillors and 65 women candidates for reserved councillors.
In the mayoral race, there will be a triangular fight among Sarfuddin Ahmed of Awami League, Md Mostafizur Rahman of Jatiya Party and Kawsar Jahan Babla of BNP, local people said.
The election is going to be held with the polls symbols of political parties unlike its maiden election held on December 20, 2012, when pro-Awami League Sarfuddin Ahmed (Jhantu) was elected mayor defeating his nearest rival Mostafizur Rahman.
In the 2012 election, Sarfuddin bagged 106,255 votes, while Mostafiz polled 77,835 and Jatiya Party-backed AKM Abdur Rouf Manik got 37,208 votes and BNP-backed KawsarJahan bagged only 21,235 votes.
This time Hossain Makbul Shahriar, who is the nephew of HM Ershad, is contesting the election as an independent mayoral candidate as the party nominated Mostafiz to contest the polls.
A total of 3, 93,994 voters — 1,96,356 men and 1,97,638 women — are expected to exercise their voting right to elect a mayor, 33 ward councillors and 11 councillors to the reserved seats of women in the election.
Rafiqul Islam said the EC will have two monitoring cells — one in Rangpur and another in the EC Secretariat—to watch the election continuously.
The Commission has sent its own observer team, numbering 22 officials, to monitor the polls, he added.
Alongside over 5,500 law enforcers, 11 judicial magistrates and 33 executive magistrates will be in the election area to check any possible breaching of the election code of conduct and election violence, the Commissioner said.
On November 5 last, the EC announced the election schedule for the city corporation.