First-phase upazila polls today

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

10th March, 2019 01:05:31 printer

First phase elction to Upazila Parishads will be held today amid boycott by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Voting in 78 upazilas under 12 districts in Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Rajshahi divisions will be held in the first phase.

A total of 207 candidates are vying for the post of chairman, 386 for vice-chairman and 289 for reserved vice-chairman posts. Poll campaign ended on Friday midnight.

The Election Commission has completed preparations  to hold a free and fair election, said EC Additional Secretary Md Mokhlesur Rahman.

The polling will start at 8:00am and continue till 4:00pm without any break. The police administration has taken adequate security measures to avert any untoward incidents.

A total of 1,42,48,850 voters are expected to exercise their franchise in 5,847 polling centres.

A total of 15 chairmen, six vice-chairmen and seven reserved vice-chairmen candidates have already been elected unopposed.

Earlier, the EC announced that it would hold polls to 87 Upazila Parishad but election to 6 UZs was postponed due to legal barriers while polls to 3 UZs will not be required as all candidates were elected unopposed.

All election-related materials have been sent to districts and were being distributed to the presiding officer yesterday.

Mobile striking force of law enforcement agencies has started patrolling since Friday. A large number of police, RAB, BGB, Coastguard, Ansar and VDP have been deployed in the election area.

Fourteen members of police, and Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP) will be deployed at every polling centre on the election days while the number of law enforcers will be 15 for each risky and special centre.

Executives and judicial magistrates will carry out their duties during the polls to check violation of electoral code of conducts.

One executive magistrate has been deployed to each Upazila for trial if electoral code is violated while one executive magistrate was deployed for five days from Friday to Tuesday for each three unions to control the law and order situation.

One judicial magistrate has been deployed to each Upazila to conduct a sudden trial of electoral code violation.

An election monitoring cell has been opened in each Upazila for two days. The cell will take immediate action if it hears any news of irregularities.

Journalist and election observers can enter the polling center for a short time after getting permission from the presiding officer. They cannot take photo of secret room and touch electoral material, said EC Additional Secretary Md Mokhlesur Rahman.

The members of law enforcement agencies will do their duty consulting with the returning officers.