The ruling Awami League did not field any chairman candidate in 18 Union Parishads of Rangamati out of 49 UPs, which will go to polls in the third phase.
Amid alleged intimidation, AL could not field candidates in 18 UPs while its rival BNP failed to give chairman contenders in 29 UPs. The deadline for submission of nomination papers expired on Sunday.
Elections to 49 UPs under 10 upazilas of the district are going to be held on April 23 in the third phase of the six-phase countrywide UP polls.
Contacted, State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing said the ruling party could not field candidates in many UPs as “no one dared to contest the election due to intimidation.”
Asked who are resorting to intimidation, the junior minister said “various armed groups” are threatening AL aspirants.
He, however, said they did not seek cooperation from the local administration in fielding nomination papers on behalf of the party’s chairman aspirants.
“As no one is interested to run the polls, we did not seek cooperation from the local administration,” Ushwe Sing said.
Election Commission Secretary Sirazul Islam on Monday said the Election Commission (EC) is going to take a decision over intimidation in the UP elections in Rangamati.
Three UPs in Rangamati, including Jibtoli and Mogban in Sadar upazila, are set to go uncontested, said District Election Officer Md Nazim Uddin.
Replying to a question, he said no one came to the election office to lodge complaint as to why they could not field candidatures.
The election officer said a total of 181 chairman aspirants submitted their nomination papers in the 49 UPs within the deadline that expired on Sunday.
The candidates include 31 from AL, 20 from BNP, five from Jatiya Party, three from Islami Shashontantra Andolan and the remaining 122 are independent contenders.
The Election Commission on March 15 declared the schedule to arrange elections in 687 UPs across the country in the third phase.