Upazila Elections 2014: Indigenous candidates win 18 chairman posts, 20 female vice chairman and 17 vice chairman (general) posts

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    In the 4th Upazila Elections-2014 in Bangladesh, indigenous candidates won 18 chairman posts in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), 20 female vice chairman posts in CHT & plains and 17 vice chairman (general/male) posts in CHT.

    In five phases, from February 19, 2014 to March 31, 2014, the 4th Upazila Parishad (Sub-district Council) elections were held in Bangladesh amid allegation of irregularities, vote rigging, snatching of ballot papers, attack on opponent groups etc. It is mentionable that the Upazilas (sub-districts) are the second lowest tier of local government bodies in Bangladesh with major responsibilities for ensuring local service delivery in all key sectors. The national administrative structure consists in fact in Divisions (7), Districts (64), Upazila Parishads (496) and Union Parishads (4451). Bangladesh, at present, has 496 upazilas.
    Each Upazila Parishad composes with one chairman, one vice chairman (general) and one woman vice chairman. All three are elected through direct popular election. Union Parishad (lowest tier of administration) chairmen within the upazila are considered as the members of the Upazila Parishad.
    Chairman: So far information received, 18 posts of Chairmanship out of 25 upazilas in CHT were captured by the indigenous Jumma candidates. However, no chairman was elected among from indigenous peoples in plain lands.
    In CHT, among the 25 upazilas of three hill districts, 18 chairmen were elected among from indigenous Jumma communities and rest 7 chairmen are from non-indigenous Bengali community. Out of 18 indigenous chairmen, 11 belong to Chakma while 7 are among from Marma ethnic group. On the other, among the 18 winning indigenous chairmen, 14 chairmen were supported by indigenous peoples’ political parties while 4 winning chairmen supported by national level mainstream political parties.
    Out of 25 upazilas in the CHT, only one indigenous female candidate supported by indigenous political party won the election for the post of chairmanship. This remarkable success was achieved in Barkal upazila, Rangamati district.
    Vice Chairman (General): Out of 25 winning vice chairmen in CHT, 17 vice chairmen are belonging to indigenous Jumma communities and 8 are among from Bengali community. Like chairman posts, no vice chairman (general) was elected among from indigenous peoples in plain lands. Ethnic community wise, out of 17 indigenous vice chairmen, 8 are from Chakma and 5 belong to Marma as well as one each from Tripura, Mro, Tangchangya and Bawm ethnic groups. Among the 17 winning vice chairmen, 13 chairmen were supported by indigenous peoples’ political parties while 4 winning chairmen were supported by national level mainstream political parties.
    Woman Vice Chairman: Throughout the country, 20 posts of vice chairmanship (female) were captured by the indigenous women candidates where 17 in CHT and 3 in plain lands.
    The 20 winning woman vice chairman are belonging from different indigenous community background, of them 17 from CHT where as 9 belong to Chakma, 5 Marma and one each won by Tripura, Tanchangya and Bawm indigenous community, while among the 3 winning vice chairman in plain lands belong to one Monipuri, one Santal and one Rajowar indigenous community. Among the 17 winning female vice chairmen in CHT, 15 female vice chairmen were supported by indigenous peoples’ political parties while 2 winning vice chairmen were supported by mainstream political parties. In the plain land, all 3 winning female vice chairmen were supported by mainstream political parties as indigenous peoples in plain lands do not have own political party.
    Conclusion: Compare to upazila election held in 2009, indigenous peoples’ political parties in CHT done better result in 2014. In 2009, out of 25 upazilas in three hill districts, 15 posts of chairmanship were captured by the indigenous candidates. However, among them, only 6 winning chairmen were the candidate of indigenous political parties while 9 chairmen were from mainstream political parties.
    Indigenous peoples of the country, particularly in CHT, are not happy with the mainstream political parties negative attitude towards implementation of the CHT Accord and to resolve land problem in plain land & CHT as well as to provide constitutional recognition to the CHT Accord and ethnic identity as indigenous peoples, instead, termed them as Bengali through 15th Amendment to the Constitution in 2011. Against this backdrop, mainstream political parties tested bad result in the Upazila Parishad Elections in CHT and, on the contrary, indigenous political parties in CHT, at least in some extent, achieved progress.
    This figure shows that in 2014 upazila parishad elections, the indigenous political parties in CHT made better result than in 2009 elections.
    Party-wise results of the Upazila Elections 2014 in the CHT

    Name of the supported party

    Chairman post

    Vice chair post

    Vice chair (female) post

    Total

    PCJSS

    7

    7

    9

    23

    BNP

    7

    6

    6

    19

    AL

    3

    5

    4

    12

    UPDF

    2

    1

    3

    PCJSS (MNL)

    2

    1

    1

    4

    Jamat-e-Islam

    1

    1

    2

    Independent*

    3

    4

    5

    12

    Total

    25

    25

    25

    75

    * Majority independent Jumma candidates were supported by all quarters of Jumma people.
    Names of the winning Chairmen:
    Rangamati district:

    1. Mr. Arun Kanti Chakma, Rangamati sadar upazila
    2. Mr. Bara Rwishi Chakma, Baghaichari upazila
    3. Ms. Moni Chakma, Barkal upazila
    4. Mr. Uday Joy Chakma, Jurachari upazila
    5. Shuva Mongal Chakma, Bilaichari upazila
    6. Shaktiman Chakma, Naniarchar upazila
    7. S M Chowdhury, Kaukhali upazila
    8. Uthin Sin Marma, Rajasthali upazila

    Khagrachari district

    1. Chanchu Moni Chakma, Khagrachari sadar upazila
    2. Sorbottam Chakma, Panchari upazila
    3. Bimal Kanti Chakma, Mahalchari upazila
    4. Mragya Marma, Manikchari upazila
    5. Super Jyoti Chakma, Laxmichari upazila
    6. Naba Kamal Chakma, Dighinala upazila

    Bandarban district

    1. Kyew Hla Ching, Thanchi upazila
    2. Aung Thowai Ching, Ruma upazila
    3. Kyawba Mong Marma, Rowangchari upazila
    4. Thowai Nue Aung, Lama upazila

    Names of the winning Vice Chairmen:
    Rangamati district:

    1. Palash Kusum Chakma, Rangamati sadar upazila
    2. Diptiman Chakma, Baghaichari upazila
    3. Bidhan Chakma, Barkal upazila
    4. Ritan Chakma, Jurachari upazila
    5. Amrita Sen Chakma, Jurachari upazila
    6. Rana Bikash Chakma, Naniarchari upazila
    7. Mong Shwe U Chowdhury, Kaukhali upazila
    8. Aung Nue Ching Marma, Rajathali upazila
    9. Subrata Bikash Tanchangya, Kaptai upazila

    Khagrachari district

    1. Ranik Tripura, Khagrachari sadar upazila
    2. Kyew Chi Ming Chowdhury, Mahalchari upazila
    3. Aungya Prue Marma, Laxmichari upazila
    4. Susamoy Chakma, Dighina upazila

    Bandarban district

    1. Kaintop Mro, Alikadam upazila
    2. Chasa Thowai Marma, Thanchi upazila
    3. Jingsamalian Bawm, Ruma upazila
    4. Kyaw Sai Nu, Rowangchari upazila

    Names of the winning Vice Chairmen (female):
    Rangamati district:

    1. Rita Chakma, Rangamati sadar upazia
    2. Sumita Chakma, Baghaichari upazila
    3. Shakuntala Chakma, Barkal upazila
    4. Shefali Chakma, Jurachari upazila
    5. Shyama Chakma, Bilaichari upazila
    6. Kuality Chakma, Naniarchari upazila
    7. Eni Chakma Kripa, Kaukhali upazila
    8. Kroi Suiu Marma, Rajasthali upazila

    Khagrachari

    1. Beuty Rani Tripura, Khagrachari sadar upazila
    2. Ratna Tanchangya, Panchari upazila
    3. Kakali Khisa, Mahalchari upazila
    4. Gopa Devi Chakma, Dighinala

    Bandarban district

    1. Waching Prue Marma, Bandarban sadar upazila
    2. Byari Marma, Alikadam upazila
    3. Bakuli Marma, Thanchi upazila
    4. King Eng Moy Bawm, Ruma upazila
    5. Ma U Sang, Rowangchari upazila

    Plain land:

    1. Ms Ranjita Sharma, Vice Chairman (female), Juri Upazila, Moulvibazar district
    2. Rosina Soren, Vice Chairman (female), Ghoraghat Upazila, Dinajpur district
    3. Protima Rani Rajowar, Vice Chairman (female), Nachol Upazila, Chapainawabgonj districts

    Source: Kapaeeng Foundation