Upazila polls schedule in February: EC

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 18:55, Jan 14, 2019 | Updated : 19:45, Jan 14, 2019

The Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed-led Election Commission administered the last Upazila elections in 2014. FILE PHOTOThe Election Commission has revealed plans to announce the schedules of the elections to the Upazila councils early next month.
Speaking to the media on Monday (Jan 14), its Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said that the elections will held in phases from the first week of March.
“The polls will be held in five phases. Voting in Upazilas of two administrative divisions will be completed in each phase, which means four phases for eight divisions and the fifth phase will be reserved for the remaining Upazilas in all the divisions,” he said.
The Commission has initially decided to use electronic voting machines at the polling stations in the Upazila headquarters, according to the EC secretary.
“We have already collected information on the terms of the Upazila councils from the district administrations, which means we do not need to approach the local government ministry for it,” he added.
Similar to the parliament, an Upazila council’s first meeting marks the first day of its five-year term.
The Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed-led Commission administered the last Upazila elections in six phases between February and May in 2014 after the 10th national election on Jan 5 that year.
During the 2014 elections, the commission administered the first phase on Feb 19 in 97 upazilas. Following that, within March 31, the elections took place in five phases in 859 upazilas. Because some of the councils had still not completed their terms, the final phase of election was carried out after Ramadan. The commission is planning to hold the 2019 elections similarly.
For the first time, the Upazila polls will be held in party lines. Previously, the political parties had unofficially supported to the candidates, but this time the aspirants will be contesting with the party’s logo.
The first Upazila council elections were held in 1985 in 460 upazilas while the last one was held in 2014 in 487 upazilas.