As the 21st of June approaches, voters in Sylhet City Corporation will have the opportunity to choose their representatives and define the city’s future.
With a total of 4,86,605 eligible voters, the Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) election is scheduled to take place on June 21. The election will determine the new mayor and city councilors who will govern and manage the municipality. There are eight candidates running for mayor, representing diverse political parties and independent backgrounds. Awami League, Jatiya Party, and Islami Andolan Bangladesh are anticipated to be the primary competitors, as they have been actively campaigning and seeking voter support.
The candidates have made pledges and outlined their plans to address the city’s challenges and enhance the residents’ quality of life. However, the election has not been without controversy, as the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) expelled a number of leaders who participated despite the party’s decision to boycott the elections. The Chief Election Commissioner has issued a stern warning against the use of force during elections and emphasized the significance of maintaining a peaceful and fair electoral process.
Candidates in SCC elections
There are now eight candidates in the race for the post of mayor in the upcoming SCC elections. The mayoral candidates are – Awami League’s Md Anwaruzzaman Chowdhury (boat), Jatiya Party’s Nazrul Islam Babul (plow), Islami Andolan Bangladesh Hafiz Maulana Mahmudul Hasan (hand fan), Zaker Party’s Md Zahirul Alam (rose flower) and independent candidates Md shahjahan Mia (bus), Mohammad Abdul Hanif Kutu (horse), Md Shalah Uddin Rimon (cricket bat) and Moshtaq Ahmed.
Moshtaq Ahmed’s nomination was declared invalid earlier which was later restored after verification.
There were 273 candidates for the post of general councilor in 42 wards and 87 candidates for the post of 14 reserved councilors.
What the candidates are promising in campaigns?
Soon after receiving the symbols, the candidates started publicity campaigns in various parts of the city. Although there are eight mayoral candidates contending for the post, Awami League, Jatiya Party, and Islami Andolon Bangladesh are expected to be in the lead.
Awami League is campaigning with all its might in an effort to win this election. On the other hand, Jatiya Party and Islami Andolan Bangladesh aim to take advantage on BNP’s absence from the elections. In addition to extensive campaigning in the city of Sylhet, their campaign is dominated by criticism of the government.
Anwaruzzaman Chowdhury, candidate for mayor of the Awami League; Nazrul Islam, candidate for the Jatiya Party; and Mahmudul Hasan, candidate for mayor of the Islami Andolan Bangladesh, held public meetings, exchanges of views, and courtyard meetings at various locations throughout the city.
Md. Anwaruzzaman Chowdhury, the Awami League’s nominated mayoral candidate, held four road rallies and an open forum on Monday. In these activities, he made numerous assurances to the electorate. If elected, he promised to, among other things, develop the streets, resolve the water crisis, construct dams, excavate the Surma River, and establish an independent power generation center. He also discussed the difficulties encountered by Sylhet’s business community and stated that, if elected, he would alleviate their difficulties. He claimed to have had conversations with the heads of numerous business organizations, beginning with common traders.
Md Nazrul Islam, the National Party’s mayoral candidate, has been delivering speeches at numerous road rallies throughout the city. In his speeches over the course of several days, Nazrul Islam has pledged to voters that he would build a sports area, guarantee water supply, enhance the city’s beauty, enhance education and healthcare facilities, reduce traffic congestion, and properly manage waste.
Mahmudul Hasan, the Islami Andolon Bangladesh mayoral candidate, has communicated with electors in various areas of Sylhet City Corporation. During this period, he also spoke at a number of road rallies and meetings for the exchange of ideas. Mahmudul stated in his road rallies that he has distinct designs for the development of Sylhet City. He wants to make this city more stunning and appealing. He has arrived on the scene for the advancement of the people. If elected, he pledged to implement all measures to make this city livable.
BNP expelled 43 leaders for participating in Sylhet city polls
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has expelled 43 leaders, including independent mayoral candidate Salah Uddin Rimon, for participating in the upcoming Sylhet City Corporation election against the party’s decision to boycott all polls under the current government. The expulsion came after the leaders failed to provide a satisfactory response to show-cause notices sent to them for their defiance.
BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi issued a notice in this regard on Monday night, confirmed Sylhet city unit President Nasim Hossain.
He said, “The 43 leaders and activists have been permanently expelled for disobeying the party’s decision to not take part in the upcoming Sylhet city polls.”
Abdul Qayyum Chowdhury, president of Sylhet district BNP, said the party had chosen not to participate in the elections under the current government and Election Commission (EC).
“Those who disregarded the party’s decision and became candidates have been expelled for life by the central BNP leadership,” he added.
Moreover, on Monday, the Sylhet metropolitan unit of the opposition BNP has instructed presidents and secretaries of 27 wards to make lists of party workers participating in any kind of election campaigning on behalf of the expelled mayor or councillor or other candidates.
Yet, the expelled leaders are continuing campaigns in the hope of winning the polls. Among the expelled BNP leaders in Sylhet is mayoral candidate and Juba Dal leader Salahuddin Rimon who is vying for the mayoral post as an independent candidate against seven other contenders.
CEC warns against coercive tactics and emphasizes fairness in SCC
In a recent meeting with mayoral and councillor candidates participating in the Sylhet City Corporation (CCC) elections, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal stressed the importance of preventing the use of coercive tactics and called for strong measures to ensure a fair electoral process.
The CEC emphasized the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and CCTV cameras to maintain transparency and address any irregularities. Additionally, he urged candidates to promote non-violence and adhere to the prescribed code of conduct, warning of immediate action against any instances of violence. The CEC also highlighted the Election Commission’s efforts to ensure overall security and urged all parties to trust their endeavors for a safe and unbiased election.
To conclude, the election of Sylhet City Corporation will play a crucial role in shaping the city’s future, as voters have the opportunity to choose their representatives and define the path ahead. Moreover, the forthcoming election will be a decisive moment for Sylhet’s residents as they exercise their democratic right and influence the city’s trajectory.