Thoughts on municipal election

Muhammad Quamrul Islam | Published: December 28, 2015 22:30:42 | Updated: October 22, 2017 15:24:21


Municipal elections are scheduled to be held on December 30. The election of mayors on party basis has been introduced for the first time. The councillors, as in the past, contest the elections in their individual capacity. This party-wise electoral system is practised in all democratic countries.      Although 20 out of the 40 political parties registered with the Election Commission (EC) are participating in the elections, the contest will actually be between the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) with the symbols of 'Boat' and 'Paddy Sheaf' respectively. 
Once again, women contestants at the grassroots levels are quite active.  
The splintered left parties have hardly any presence in the elections, and for that matter, in politics in general. This is unfortunate. 
Why out of registered 40 parties 20 parties, including Gano Forum and Bikalpa Dhara, did not field candidates in the elections? The EC should evaluate the role of the small parties registered with it. The election observers, including the NGOs, should also note this matter. 
The AL and the BNP high command have apparently failed to enforce party discipline in many cases and many rebel candidates have remained in the contest. This is no a happy augury.
This is a shame that the EC had to take disciplinary action against some Ministers and MPs for violating electoral code of conduct. 
True, the path to polls is strewn with thorns, laid by vested quarters with money, muscle and manipulations, in various garbs, which would hopefully be removed to initiate a qualitative change in politics.  
The writer is an economist and socio-political activist.
mqislambd@hotmail.com
 

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