Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday told her cabinet colleagues that her party should not be ‘emotional’ in nominating candidates for elections.
‘Pick a genuine candidate for the poll without taking it emotionally,’ a minister quoted Hasina as saying in an oblique reference to the upcoming mayoral bypoll in Dhaka north city.
Hasina came up with the view while chairing the weekly meeting of the cabinet at her Tejgaon office in a couple of days after the office of the mayor for Dhaka North City Corporation was declared vacant following the death of city mayor Annisul Huq.
Several names, including Annisul’s family members, came in media reports as probable mayoral candidates. Annisul Huq passed away at a hospital in London on November 30.
According to the Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009, the Election Commission has to complete the by-election within 90 days from the date of the declaration of the vacancy.
Hasina, however, ruled out any possibility of the ‘early’ national polls as several ministers raised the issue referring to media reports, a minister told New Age. The 11th parliamentary election is scheduled to be held before January 28, 2019.
Hasina criticised media for not focusing allegations of corruption and money laundering against former Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia, also former prime minister, and her family.
The prime minister informed her cabinet that the government would name Park Road at Baridhara in Dhaka after Cambodia’s late King Norodom Sihanouk commemorating Phnom Penh’s decision of naming a road after the country’s first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman there.
She informed her colleagues about the decision two days after she returned home from a visit to Cambodia.
At a briefing at the secretariat, cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said that Bangladesh and Cambodia signed an agreement and nine memorandums of understanding to boost trade and investment relations during the visit.
He said the cabinet meeting accepted a condolence motion at the death of Dhaka north city mayor mayor Annisul Huq and conveyed gratitude to all for recognition of traditional Shital Pati of Sylhet as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO.
Shafiul Alam said the cabinet approved the daft of the president’s speech to be delivered in the first session of the Jatiya Sangsad in 2018.
He said that the speech comprising over 7,000 words mainly focused nine issues, including the country’s overall condition, macro-economy, vision 2021, digitalisation, employment and trial of war criminals.
The speech would be shortened to about 5,000 words during the final revision, he said.
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