385 rebel candidates are in fray for Dec 30 municipal polls

14 December 2015 bdnews24.com



As many as 385 rebel candidates are in the fray so far for the Dec 30 municipal polls. They have not been nominated by their parties in what will be Bangladesh's first local polls on party lines-but they have nevertheless filed to contest.
Election Commission Deputy Secretary Shamsul Alam  told bdnews24.com that 503 rebel candidates filed as independents when their parties did not give them nominations. The EC during scrutiny found 118 such nominations unacceptable and rejected them, leaving 385 rebel candidates in the fray.
Parties such as the ruling Awami League have issued strong directives calling on the rebel candidates to withdraw from the fray. That is likely to have an impact and some, if not many, rebel candidates may finally sit out the polls, fearing disciplinary action.
In the 9th parliament polls, there were 141 rebel candidates who contested despite being denied nominations by their parties. In the 10th parliament polls, there were 104 such candidates.
The numbers are much more this time but that is expected because the number of positions to contest are much more in the polls to the 235 municipalities. Fifty of the rebel candidates in the Dec 30 municipal polls are from the Awami League and almost as many from the BNP, media reports indicate.
The Awami League has threatened 'very strong disciplinary action' against all rebel candidates who don't withdraw from the fray by Sunday (Dec 13). The BNP is trying to talk them into withdrawing.
"If the parties expel them, the EC cannot do anything. These polls are conducted on party lines," says former Election Commissioner Shakawat Hossain.

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