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DCC polls viable amid political volatility?

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DCC polls viable amid political volatility?

Thereport24.com, Dhaka:

There are now possibilities that Dhaka City Corporation polls will be held soon as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam to arrange the elections during Monday’s cabinet meeting.

The prime minister ordered the same on December 8 last year.

The Election Commission has said polls will be held if the situation is favourable. The commission can arrange elections after the Local Government Ministry resolves the demarcation difficulties involving Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation.

Before the division of Dhaka City Corporation, polls were held on April 25, 2002.

The next polls were supposed to be held by 2007 but the Election Commission could not arrange that as the voter list was not updated.

On November 29, 2011, Dhaka City Corporation was divided into two distinct entities, resulting in demarcation problems.

The government kept putting off the elections raising a variety of excuses. Two administrators are now in charge of the two city corporations.

In Bangladesh, the local government election, despite being non-political in nature, is largely influenced by political decisions.

Most of the city corporation polls in other parts of the country were held in the previous term of the incumbent government, but the results showed the ruling party-backed candidates had faced fiascos.

This led to the suspension of Dhaka City Corporation polls and the body lost its democratic characteristics after the government used executive order to split it into two parts.

In view of that, the current initiatives of the government to arrange city corporation polls could bring hope to the city dwellers.

But it is the duty of the government to ensure that the residents of Dhaka are able to choose their representatives freely in the city polls.

Moreover, to what extent the present political situation characterized by unrest and turmoil is conducive to the polls is something that demands careful consideration.

Ends/thereport24.com/MI/Feb 18, 2015