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Local elections to take new shape through four bills

Wednesday 18 November, 2015 12:00:00 am

Local elections to take new shape through four bills

Dhaka, Nov 18 (UNB) – Parliamentary Standing Committee on LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry on Wednesday submitted its reports on the much-hyped four bills seeking to hold local government polls on partisan basis or through party symbols or independently.


Chairman of the Committee Abul Hasnat Abdullah submit the four reports in the House.


The Bills are: ‘Local Government (City Corporation) (amendment) Bill, 2015’, 'Upazila Parishad (amendment) Bill, 2015', 'Local Government (Union Parishad) (amendment) Bill, 2015' and 'Local Government (Pourasava) (Amendment) Bill, 2015'.


The Committee in its reports suggested the elections of mayor and chairman posts be held along party lines, with political party-nominated candidates, as well as independents.


But at the Upazila Parishad level, only the vice chairman’s election will be held following the same criteria.


The remaining posts in the local government bodies will be contested by independent candidates, as in the existing system.


With the passage of the Bills, the nominated candidates of different political parties registered with the Election Commission or independent candidates will be able to take part in local government body polls.


Under the existing parliamentary system of democracy in Bangladesh, only the national election is held along party lines, but there was no scope for holding local government body polls on partisan basis.


With the proposed amendments, interested candidates will be able to participate in elections to local government bodies either with the nomination of any political party or as independent candidates.


The biggest benefit from this according to experts will be that the candidate nominated by a political party can contest elections to any Union Parishad, Upazila Parishad, Pourashava or City Corporation with the symbol of his political party registered with the Election Commission.