3rd Phase of Upazila polls 2014: As of 10 March 2014, half (50.44%) of the chairman candidates in the 3rd phase of the Upazila elections are either graduates or postgraduates while 20% have educational qualifications below the SSC. Moreover, the profession of 52.42% candidates is business, while that of 19.34% listed agriculture. The 3rd phase election in 83 Upazila Parishads will be held on 15 March.
SHUJAN-Citizens for Good Governance presented the statistics in a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) on Monday. Delivering the keynote address, co-coordinator of SHUJAN, Sanjida Haque Bipasha, announced the statistics analyzing the affidavits of 393 chairman candidates out of 432 in the 83 Upazilas.
She said that the affidavits of other chairman candidates could not be studied as some were deemed unclear and others were not available on the Election Committee’s website.
Of the 393 candidates, the educational qualification of 78 is below the SSC, with 53 having completed SSC, 48 passing the HSC, 137 having graduated and 73 post-graduation. Four others did not mention their academic qualification in their affidavits.
Among the contenders, 16 are currently accused of murder cases while 27 were accused of murder cases in the past. A total of 118 contenders have been accused of various cases.
Five candidates’ earnings, including that of dependents, are worth more than five crore BDT (≈608,000 USD) each, while 45 others earn over one crore BDT (≈122,000 USD) each. The annual income of two candidates is more than one crore (≈122,000 USD) each, while that of 121 is less than two lakh BDT (≈2,435 USD). Among the candidates, their professions are listed as: 206 businessmen, 76 farmers, 39 service-holders, 23 lawyers, 5 housewives, 18 in other professions, and 26 unlisted.
Addressing the press conference, Sujan secretary, Dr Badiul Alam Majumder, alleged that the present government did not live up to its pledges as it failed to make the wealth statements of ministers and MP’s public. “The incumbent government pledged in their charter of change to reveal the wealth statements of the ruling party men twice. But unfortunately it has not been kept,” he announced.
Criticizing Syed Ashraful Islam, who termed affidavits as character assassination of politicians, Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar declared, “If we retreat from the mandatory provision of providing the affidavits, it will be tantamount to our self-surrender to political criminalization.” The SHUJAN secretary also criticized political influence on the ongoing countrywide Upazila election emphasizing that it is a non-partisan local government election.