Public concern about city corporation polls

Although the Dhaka city corporation elections were originally slated for May 24, 2012, it faced a number of hurdles since then. On April 16, 2012, the High Court issued a stay order for three months as there were complexities regarding the delimitation of the area and preparation of the voter list. Later, the stay order was extended and lifted by the high court.
The DCC was split into two – South [DSCC] and North [DNCC] – on November 30, 2011 through the passage of a bill that amended the 2009 Local Government Act. The last election of the DCC was held in April 2002. Awami League, the then major opposition, did not have any candidates during the polls leading to an easy-win by Sadeque Hossain Khoka, then a minister of BNP government, to become the mayor of Dhaka city for five years.
As the date for the highly-anticipated city corporation polls inch closer, New Age Xtra’s Ahmed Shatil Alam asked citizens about their opinions regarding the polls to occur on April 28.

Nesar Uddin Ahmed Choudhury,
Businessman
06I am doubtful whether the city elections will actually occur, although apparently all the major political parties have given their nomination papers to their prospective leaders. I am sceptical since the election was supposed to be held many years ago and the government did not feel any necessity to organise the elections till now. Besides, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party is yet to take any particular stance on attending the election, which again seems suspicious. But, we, the citizens, are eagerly waiting for the polls as without the elections the citizens are suffering due to many afflictions faced by the city.

TulTul Maharun
Employee of a cell-phone operator company
07Government will not arrange any elections for the Dhaka citizens. This is basically a kind of eye-wash for the people. It seems like the government wants a fair election. On the other hand they have locked up two potential candidates like Abdul Awal Mintoo and Mahmudur Rahman Manna unnecessarily. I think, if the election is still organised, it will not bring about any positive change for us as it will be another January 5-type election.

Sohel Mia,
Tea stall owner
08I think the Dhaka city elections will happen as this time all the parties are willing to take part in it. Whether the election will be neutral or not depends on the willingness of the government; if they want then it would be a perfect election with the citizens getting a representative of their choice. But I do not think it will be a neutral election as the government wants to have their own people in the chair of mayor in Dhaka. And if this is the case, then it will not bring about any positive changes for Dhaka.

Abdul Mannan,
Security guard
09I hope the government will arrange the city election in a proper manner, which would not be like the January 5 national election. Back then, most of us could not practise our voting rights as most ruling party candidates won as there was no one to actually compete against them. We, the poor, only understand that politics gives us the right to practise our voting rights and choose our favourable representatives who will work for our benefits. The city is already facing many problems like water crisis, dilapidated situation of roads and lack of security system, which we hope will be checked if we get a proper representative from us.

Rahima Begum,
Housemaid
010It was our bad luck that we did not have the chance to vote during January 5, 2014’s national election. But I do not think this will recur during the city corporation polls. Poor people like us always want a hassle-free and peaceful Bangladesh. But the last few months have been full of uncertainty and concern. I hope that after arranging the city election properly, the government will take necessary steps to stop the current stalemate situation.

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