Thursday, December 3, 2015, Agrahayan 19, 1422 BS, Safar 20, 1437 Hijri

AL mayoral contenders get nomination letters
Anaet Shawon
Published :Thursday, 3 December, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 36
Awami League (AL) has completed distribution of nomination letters to all the mayoral candidates for the municipality elections, due on December 30.
A full list of AL nominated candidates will be submitted to the Election Commission today (Thursday).
Grassroots leaders of the ruling party claimed that a few nomination papers were distributed ignoring their recommendations, while some of the nomination were given to newly joined leaders from BNP. Even war criminal Mujaheed lawyer's brother got nomination.
After announcement of nomination in 235 pourashabhas at least 80 candidates expressed their interest to contest in the polls as independent candidates.
An AL Presidium Member who is also a member of the AL nomination board told the Daily Observer, "Almost 80 percent nominations were given to grassroots level leaders, while the rest were nominated from the lists sent by these leaders. In these cases we have to depend on non-partisan survey and reports from other sources."
Another insider said, "In many districts, there are candidates of Ministers' and AL bigwigs' choice. Also, there exists major groupings among the leaders. In these cases, we have to balance among the groups."
He added that selection of single mayor aspirants by the grassroots has sparked protests in several municipalities, raising fear that the candidates might face intra-party rebels in the upcoming polls.
Sources said the nomination board selected candidates considering their popularity and devotion. Grassroots' choices, intelligence reports, and several surveys also played a role.
In many cases, ministers and MPs influenced grassroots to choose their relatives and candidates loyal to them, ignoring veterans and dedicated party activists, party sources said.
Earlier, in meetings on Monday and Tuesday night, nomination board for pourashabhas has nominated party candidates for mayoral positions to 235 municipalities.
Awami League is yet to make official announcement to the media but distributed all nominations forms to the aspirants on Wednesday.
AL Office Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap said, "There were a few corrections on spelling of names but all the corrected forms had been  distributed to the aspirants."
When the list will be provided to the media, Golap said, "After getting approval of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina it will be distributed to media and the Election Commission also."
But till filing of this report at 9:00 pm, the Awami League did not  provide any list to the media.
Though the grassroots committees were specifically asked to send one name for each municipality, it did not happen, a senior AL leader on condition of anonymity said, adding, "Over a hundred municipalities sent multiple names each. Some even sent as many as seven names. Some units sent the names of such people who have recently switched over to the AL from BNP."
Warning rebel candidates, AL Joint General Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak said, "We hope there will be no rebel candidates. The list of our candidates has been prepared on the basis of grassroots' opinions."
December 3 is the last date for filing nominations for the municipal elections which will be held on party basis for the first time in the country. The contenders for the office of mayors have been allocated their party symbols.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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