Hasina wants no AL excesses in Dhaka city polls: Quader

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-01-14 02:42:06 BdST


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered the ruling Awami League adherents “not to act beyond the limit” in the elections to the two Dhaka city corporations, according to Obaidul Quader.

“The elections must be free and fair,” the ruling party general secretary quoted Hasina as telling those who saw her off at Shahjalal International Airport before she started for the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters at the party’s Bangabandhu Avenue headquarters on Monday, Quader, the road transport and bridges minister, pledged full government support for fair elections.

“There will be no government interference. We will obey the electoral code of conduct to contest in the polls. There will be no doing excesses,” he added.

The Awami League has nominated outgoing mayor Atiqul Islam as its candidate for Dhaka North City Corporation mayor and former MP Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh for the South.

The party has also picked councillor aspirants to back as the elections for these posts will not be held on party lines.

The BNP is contesting in the elections as well. The opposition party is doubtful about the Election Commission’s ability to deliver fair polls. It alleged widespread irregularities in the 2018 parliamentary elections.

Quader said the Awami League always wants impartially organised elections that cannot be questioned. “We will accept the people’s mandate after they vote whoever they wish to,” he remarked.

He reiterated the party’s demand for allowing its leaders, who are also MPs or ministers, to campaign for candidates in local government elections.

“Why can’t the Awami League general secretary take part in election campaign while the BNP secretary general can do it?” he asked.

“But we’ve accepted it… The Election Commission presented a counterargument that all must follow the electoral code of conduct. So, we are following it,” Quader said.

He said he had discussed the BNP’s objection to the use of electronic voting machines or EVMs with Hasina.

Hasina had said the EC is the final authority to make a decision on the issue, according to Quader.