Helaluddin Ahmed, senior secretary at the local government ministry, said the election commission had already been informed about the district council elections. Elections must be held within 180 days of the dissolution of the council. Where elections are supposed to be held in 180 days, why should politicians be appointed as administrators? The public administration officials can be given that responsibility in the time being. Appointing politicians means ensuring party influence in the council.

The zila parishad election in 2016 was also unopposed as the main opposition BNP had boycotted it. Even the government's most trusted opposition party, the Jatiya Party, did not take part in the election. All other local councils or bodies are formed through elections by direct popular vote. But the zila parishad is an exception. Members of the city corporation, pourashava, union parishad and upazila parishad elect zila parishad chairmen. In the last election, there were 63,143 voters in 61 districts. The three district councils of the Chittagong Hill Tracts are governed by separate laws.

Local government experts have emphasised the need to address inconsistencies in the Zila Parishad Act. The fact that the government is running this body as it pleases, is not in line with the constitution and the democratic system. The constitution states that each local government body will be governed by elected representatives.

If it is unavoidable to have a temporary administrator, these persons cannot be political figures in any way. Like all other organisations, the election of the organisation must be inclusive and competitive. The newly recent union parishad election was unilateral. If representatives of this one-sided council elect anyone, that will be one-sided too.

The government has resorted to a lot of irregularities in the election of local government bodies, which is undermining the very purpose of the local government body. Now it is difficult to differentiate between the representatives of local government bodies and the party men.

We hope the election commission will not hold such an election that will destroy the people's last iota of trust on the EC. Since there is an obligation to hold zila parishad elections within 180 days, this will be the first test of the Kazi Habibul Awal commission.

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