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The first ever Municipality polls with party symbols tomorrow

40Around 7.1 million voters will exercise their rights of franchise tomorrow (Wednesday) to elect mayors and councilors in 234 municipalities in the country.

The very specialty of tomorrow’s municipal polls is that all mayoral candidates are vying for their respective posts with party symbols, the first ever in Bangladesh, UNB reports.

After a hectic electioneering over the past few weeks, the campaign for votes ended midnight last night while the candidates now have the only option to weigh their chances on the polls day.

Election Commissioner M Shah Newaz told BSS today that all preparations were taken with adequate number of law enforces in the field to ensure free and fair election in all the municipalities.

“The municipal election will be free and fair as the voters are going to exercise their rights of franchise in a peaceful environment,” he said on a query.

According to the Election Commission, more than 100,000 members of the law enforcement agencies including the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), RAB, Police, Coast Guard and Answer have already been put on election duty to ensure total safety and security.

In addition, 1,204 executive and judicial magistrates are to look after the overall security.

EC officials said BGB would be deployed in 229 municipalities and coast guard in six costal municipalities. Adequate number of law enforcers would be on duty in and around

both sensitive and normal polling center.

A total of 945 aspirants from 20 parties and independent contestants are in the fray for the mayor posts while 20 mayor candidates are women.

As many as 222 mayor candidates are going to face to face contest with ‘sheaf of paddy’ (Dhaner Shish) and ‘Boat’ (Nouka) as their electoral symbols while 288 are with independent symbols.

Some 228 candidates of Awami League, 225 of BNP and 74 of Jatiya Party are contesting as mayor candidates.

Earlier, 7 mayor candidates were elected unopposed. There are over 11,000 candidates contesting for general councilor seats and reserved posts. Among them, 94 councilors and 40 women councilors have won uncontested.

About 66,000 officials as presiding officers, assistant presiding officers and polling officers will take votes in around 3,555 voting centers with 21,571 polling booths.

Public Administration Ministry has already issued notification announcing general holiday in the municipalities on December 30 marking the polls.

Vehicular movement will remain shut off from 12 midnight of December 29 to 12 midnight of December 30. But this will not be applicable for election concerned officials, employees and others who have identity card.

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