The Election Commission (EC) is holding the Rangpur City Corporation (RpCC) Elections – 2022 on December 27 in a free, fair, and effective manner.
This election in Rangpur is likely to be the largest local poll before to the national election. According to Returning Officer Abdul Baten, voting will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m. The polls will be held in 1,349 booths in 229 polling locations using EVMs. Since last midnight, all election candidates have discontinued their campaigning for this election.
Who are the candidates? What are their electoral symbols?
There are 260 contesting candidates in the election, including 9 for mayor, 183 for 33 general councilors, and 68 for 11 female-reserved councilor positions.
Locals anticipate a three-way mayoral race between Awami League (AL) nominee Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia (Nouka- Boat), Jatiya Party nominee Md. Mostafizar Rahman (Langgol- Plough), and independent candidate Md. Latifur Rahman (Haati- Elephant).
The six other candidates for the position of mayor are Md. Amiruzzaman of Islami Andolan Bangladesh (Hand fan), Md. Abu Raihan of Bangladesh Congress (Green coconut), Md. Tauhidur Rahman Mondal of Khelafat Majlish (Wall clock), Md. Shafiar Rahman of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal- JASOD (Moshal), Md. Mehedi Hasan (Independent-Deer) and Md. Khorshed Alam of Zaker Party (Rose flower).
Ataur Zaman Babu had also submitted his nomination paper for the mayoral post. However, on the final day for withdrawal of nominations, Ataur Zaman Babu, president of the Bangladesh Awami Swechasebak League, withdrew his name from the candidacy of mayor position. Ataur Zaman Babu said, “Accepting the party’s decision, I have withdrawn my nomination by supporting Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, the Awami League’s mayoral nominee. We shall all collaborate for the party’s victory.”
Manifestos of the key candidates
Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, Awami League nominee (Boat)
Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia had declared her 29-point manifesto vowing to ensure planned developments for the RpCC Election-2022.
She vowed to develop a master plan to secure the planned growth of Rangpur city. She stated that, she would put priority on eliminating water-logging, unemployment and traffic jams and restoring order on the city streets and roads.
Dalia stated in her manifesto that one-way highways will be constructed on the upper sides of the Shyamasundari Canal so that rickshaws and auto-rickshaws can operate on those roads, hence reducing traffic congestion on city roadways. She stated, “I will try my best to improve schools and colleges being run under the local government authorities, increase job opportunities for women to reduce unemployment of male and female youths of the city.”
If elected Mayor, Dalia promised to build five fire stations in the city of Rangpur, bring ambulances to the community clinics managed by RpCC, and create more cottage industries for women.
Md. Mostafizar Rahman, Jatiya Party nominee (Plough)
Mustafizar Rahman, the former mayor and candidate nominated by the Jatiya Party revealed a manifesto that emphasizes 31 issues with the promise of constructing a clean, contemporary city.
Significant promises in the manifesto include the implementation of a Tk 2,200 crore project to revitalize the Shyamasundari canal to preserve the city’s beauty, the implementation of the Korean Grand Project in 33 wards to transform it into a smart city, and the implementation of a Tk 50 crore project to transform Chikli Park into a modern park in the city.
In the manifesto, it is stated that steps would be taken to eliminate city garbage in order to establish a clean city. Moreover, two pedestrian bridges have been created to ease traffic congestion. There will be footbridge construction at a few other significant locations.
The manifesto mentions the construction of three regional offices and complex buildings in 33 wards to facilitate citizen services and bring services directly to citizens’ doorsteps. Additionally, the manifesto pledged to construct regional urban maternity centers in 18 wards to offer medical services. It also states that residential colonies will be developed in order to ease the housing issue of cleaning staff. Moreover, CCTV cameras will be deployed at each intersection in 33 wards. In addition, initiatives will be taken for the rehabilitation and employment of street vendors.
Md. Latifur Rahman, Independent candidate (Elephant)
Latifur Rahman, businessman by profession and president of District and Divisional Daily Farmers Association, has pledged to develop a clean, modern, agriculture-based industrial city with his 17-point program for the RpCC election. It states that he would contribute to the development of an eco-friendly, contemporary industrial city.
The manifesto mentions 17 issue-based issues for enhancing civic services, such as giving priority to the modernization of important market places, including the city market, constructing quality modern hospitals for senior citizens, keeping the city management free of all corruption and facilitating civic services, and initiating education for poor and meritorious students.
All set for tomorrow’s election
A total of 4,26,470 individuals are anticipated to cast ballots in this year’s city corporation election. Baten stated, “All preparations have been taken to hold a free and fair election, and voting will take place at 229 locations using electronic voting machines.” He stated that mobile court operations will be conducted to guarantee compliance with the election code.
This time, there are 229 polling locations. The Metropolitan Police has classified 86 of these centers as dangerous. In addition, 1,349 permanent polling booths and 193 temporary polling booths have been constructed. Thirty-three Executive Magistrates are presiding over 33 mobile courts and sixteen Senior Judicial Magistrates and Judicial Magistrates are presiding over 16 summary courts to conduct trials for violations of election regulations till the election.
On the day of the election, there will be a total of 229 presiding officers, 1,349 assistant presiding officers, and 2,698 polling officers. A three-tiered security system will be used at each polling place, and law enforcement authorities are focused on assuring security before the election.
A sufficient number of law enforcement personnel, including police, Ansar and VDP, APBN, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), would be deployed to ensure the peaceful conduct of the RpCC-2022 elections.
On election days, the usage of motorcycles by journalists is prohibited. No journalist is allowed to stay longer than 10-minutes at any center.
The first Rangpur City Corporation elections were held on December 21, 2017. The current mayor’s term will end on February 18, 2023. According to the election statute, municipal elections must be held within 180 days of the expiration of the incumbent mayor and council positions.