POST TIME: 8 March, 2019 11:29:18 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 March, 2019 09:15:25 AM
87 upazilas go to polls tomorrow
first phase of election

87 upazilas go to 
polls tomorrow

The Awami League's (AL's) local leaders are going to face each other in the ensuing upazila parishad elections, to be held in five phases. The first phase of elections to 87 upazilas will be held tomorrow (Sunday). In most of the upazilas, the AL's local leaders are prepared to contest the polls against party nominated candidates, as the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) had earlier announced that it would not field any candidate to contest the local government elections.

The BNP high-ups have already expelled over hundred local leaders who wanted to contest the elections violating party instructions.

Besides, the AL high-ups also decided to make the local body elections free, fair and competitive and that’s why the party this time would not take any punitive or organisational actions against any local leader who will contest the polls independently.

This time the ruling party also announced that nomination papers for the posts of chairman and vice-chairman will be opened for all local leaders. Anyone can collect nomination papers to contest the local body elections. Therefore, it is clear to all that the party would not stop anyone if he/she wants to contest the polls as an independent candidate.

In Kahalu upazila of Bogura district, AL local leader Mushfiqur Rahman Kajol, who failed to get party nomination, is contesting the elections against Abdul Mannan nominated by the party.

“I have collected a nomination form to contest the polls as an independent. I will surely win if the polls are held in a free and fair manner,” he said.
The local AL leaders are contesting in five out of twelve upazilas of the district (Bogura) as rebel candidates.

A total of 24 rebel AL candidates have submitted nomination papers for the upazila election in Noakhali district. AL local leaders have become puzzled to contest the Cox’s Bazar Sadar upazila elections due to the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the first time. A total of nine contenders have submitted their nomination papers to contest the posts in Cox’s Bazar Sadar upazila. Five out of nine contenders are from the ruling party.

Talking to this correspondent, AL joint general secretary Abdur Rahman said the party high-ups’ decision is to make the local body elections competitive. “iI is a local body election, anyone can contest the polls. We want free, fair and competitive elections with the participation of a large number of candidates from different political parties.”

Replying to a question, the AL leader said: “We will not take any organisational action if any local leader contests the polls independently.”
Candidates for the post of upazila chairman were seen carrying out last moment campaigning as the deadline for campaigning ended at  midnight on Friday.

According to the Election Commission, elections to 481 upazilas will be held in the fifth upazila parishad elections that start on Sunday.

So far, 96 candidate for the post of upazial chairman have already been elected uncontested.

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.

In the second phase, elections will be held in all the upazilas under Thakurgaon, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, Bogura, Naogaon, Pabna, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Rangamati, Bandarban, Khagrachhari districts, seven upazilas in Chattogram district, Hatiya upazila of Noakhali and Chakria upazila of Cox’s Bazar.