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10 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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first phase of local body polls

78 upazilas go to polls today

Upazila elections are going to be held under party banners for the first time
Staff Reporter, Dhaka
78 upazilas go to
polls today
Law enforcers carry election materials into a van on the Sunamganj Sadar Upazila Parishad compound in Sunamganj for transport to various polling centres yesterday, on the eve of the first phase of Upazila Elections. Independent Photo

The Election Commission (EC) is all set to hold elections in 78 upazila parishads (UPs) today in the first phase of local body polls. The EC had earlier announced the election schedule for 87 upazilas in the first phase. However, it later suspended polls to six upazilas over legal issues while the chairmen and vice chairmen to some other upazilas were elected unopposed. A total of 1.42 crore voters are expected to cast their votes. There are 207 aspirants for the chairman’s posts and 386 candidates are vying to for the vice chairman’s posts, including 289 contestants for the vice chairman’s posts reserved for women.

The upazila elections today are going to be held under party banners for the first time. So far, 15 chairman candidates have been elected unopposed. Similarly, six candidates for vice chairman and seven candidates for women vice chairman were elected uncontested.

As the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) had earlier announced that it would not field any candidate for the UP polls, the main battle of ballots will be between the Awami League (AL)-nominated candidates and its rebel leaders.

BNP high-ups have expelled over 100 local leaders who wanted to contest the elections by violating party instructions.

EC sources said they have completed all the preparations to hold the polls, including sending polling materials to the centres, and deployment of army and other law enforcers, executive and judicial magistrates. Polling will begin at 8 am and continue till 4 pm without break.

EC sources said the fifth UP elections and security arrangements will cost the state coffers an estimated Tk 7.5 billion. Of this amount, over Tk 3 billion might be spent on the electoral process and Tk 4 billion on maintaining law and order.

The commission also called upon all political parties to extend their all-out support to hold the elections in a free fair and peaceful manner.

Elections for the chairman’s post only were postponed due to legal issues in Paba upazila in Rajshahi district, Melandaha and Madarganj in Jamalpur district, Natore Sadar upazila, Purbadhala upazila in Netrokona, Aditmari upazila in Lalmonirhat, Jamalganj upazila in Sunamganj, Sadar upazila in Nilphamari district.

The first phase of the local body polls will be held in all upazilas of Panchagarh, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat and Rangpur in Rangpur division, all upazilas in Jamalpur and all upazilas in Netrakona, except Atpara, in Mymensingh division, all upazilas in Sunamganj, except Jagannathpur, and all upazilas in Habiganj, except Shayestaganj, in Sylhet division, and all upazilas in Sirajganj, Joypurhat, Natore and Rajshahi in Rajshahi division.

Elections to 129 UPs will be held in the 2nd phase on March 18. The third phase will be held on March 24, the 4th phase on March 31 and last phase on June 18. In the second phase, the local government elections will be held in all the upazilas under Thakurgaon, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, Bogura, Naogaon, Pabna, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari districts, seven upazilas in Chattogram district, Hatiya upazila of Noakhali and Chakria upazila of Cox’s Bazar.

This is the fifth local body elections to be held in the country. The first UP election was held in 1985, followed by in 1990, 2009 and 2014. The last one was held in six phases.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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