Press Conference to disseminate the finding of analysis of the UPZ chairman candidates’ antecedents

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4th Phase of Upazila polls 2014
p_conf_20march20th March, 2014: Some 30 percent of 379 candidates contesting for the office of chairman in the upcoming fourth phase of the upazila election face cases, including allegations of murder. This was revealed on 20th March by SHUJAN-Citizens for Good Governance which said the data was based on the affidavits which the candidates have submitted to the election commission. The fourth-phase election to be held on March 23 in 92 upazilas.

SHUJAN seeks to promote good governance and transparency. SHUJAN said that about 34 percent of the chairman candidates are graduates, while 19 percent are postgraduates.

Majority of the candidates are businessmen, the data found. It said that 60 percent of the candidates are involved in business, while 15 percent in agriculture, 13 percent in service and five percent in legal profession. Sixteen chairman candidates did not mention their professions.

Eleven candidates (3 percent) have wealth, including the wealth of dependents worth more than Tk. five crore each, while 42 (11pc) others over Tk one crore each and the wealth of 66 (17pc) candidates less than Tk. five lakh each.

The annual income of five candidates is more than one crore each, while that of 98 candidates (26pc) is less than Tk two lakh.

Co-coordinator of SHUJAN Sanjida Haque Bipasha presented the keynote paper revealing the statistics. She said that violence has led to suspension of voting in 71 polling stations in the first three phases of upazila elections.

Besides, anomalies occurred in 471 polling stations –six in the 1st phase, 100 in the 2nd phase and 365 in the 3rd phase- in the previous phases of the countrywide upazila elections, she said.

Three persons were killed and more than 200 other were injured in the polls due to violence during the first three phases, she said.

Addressing the press conference, SHUJAN President M. Hafizuddin Khan said that the Election Commission failed to hold fair elections despite it has adequate legal power. The commission will have to bear the responsibility.

“If the commission defends the violence saying that such violence is normal, we’ve nothing to say,” he said.

SHUJAN secretary Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar alleged that the EC does not apply its power to hold fair elections and to prevent vote rigging.

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