Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda yesterday instructed law enforcers to remain neutral during Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayoral by-polls, and councillor elections in 36 new wards under both Dhaka city corporations.
“Act neutrally while discharging duties during the election so that no one can raise questions about the polls,” Nurul Huda said while addressing a meeting with law enforcers at Nirbachan Bhaban.
“Last parliamentary election was exemplary in terms of freedom and fairness,” he said. “We expect the same atmosphere in city polls.”
DNCC mayoral by-polls will be held on February 28. Election to councillor posts in the 36 new wards -- 18 under DNCC and 18 under Dhaka South City Corporation -- will be held on the same day.
The DNCC mayoral post fell vacant following the death of Annisul Huq on November 30, 2017. He was elected mayor on April 28, 2015.
At the meeting, CEC Huda instructed law enforcement agencies to provide security to voters and agents of different political parties during the voting process.
CEC also praised the role of police force in curbing untoward situation during the national election and instructed the same vigilance in the upcoming elections.
Reflecting on major parties like BNP boycotting the upazila parishad polls, he said, “We can't do anything if all parties do not participate. Still we hope the election will be competitive.”
Top officials of armed forces division, police, Rab, and Border Guard Bangladesh attended the meeting alongside high-ups of intelligence units.
EVMS TO BE USED
After the meeting, EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said that electronic voting machines will be used from the third phase of upazila parishad election.
“EC will use EVMs in every Sadar upazila of the country during polls,” Helal told reporters at Nirbachan Bhaban.
The first of the five-phase polls will be held in 87 upazilas on March 10, while 124 upazilas will go to polls in the second phase on March 18. The third phase election of 127 upazila parishads will be held on March 24.
EC officials said they are planning to hold the next two phases of the election on March 31 and June 18 respectively.