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2nd phase of upazila parishad election Tuesday

The second phase of the sixth upazila parishad elections will be held in 157 upazilas in the country on Tuesday.

However, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has boycotted the election. Candidates were seen making hectic efforts on the last day of electioneering, which ended at midnight on Sunday.

Allegations of conflict, threats, violations of the electoral code of conduct, and the influence of parliamentarians were reported in several places during the campaign.

Candidates were seen making hectic efforts on the last day of electioneering, which ended at midnight on Sunday.

Chairman, vice-chairman, and reserved vice-chairman candidates spent busy times in their last-minute efforts to pursue voters.

The Election Commission (EC) has made all necessary preparations to hold the elections in a free and fair manner. However, there are fears of violence as several candidates of the ruling Awami League are vying for different posts, including that of the chairman, in almost all upazilas.

So far, seventeen family members of ministers and parliamentarians are competing for the post of chairman in the elections.

In the second phase, the votes will be cast from 8am to 4pm without any recess.

The ballot paper will be sent to 12,323 polling stations on voting day, and the ballot paper will be sent to 697 polling stations the day before.

Some 1,824 candidates, including 603 for chairman, 693 for vice-chairman and 528 for reserved vice-chairman posts, are participating in the electoral race in the 156 upazila parishads.

A total of seven chairmen, eight vice-chairmen and seven reserved vice-chairmen candidates were elected unopposed.

More than 3.52 crore voters – 1,79,05,464 males, 1,72,99,047 females and 237 transgender persons — are registered under 13,016 polling stations in the 156 upazilas, according to the factsheet provided by the Election Commission on Sunday.

Among them, the electronic voting machines will be used at 24 upazilas in nine districts, while the traditional ballot papers in the rest upazilas.

On April 2, the Election Commission announced the election schedule for 161 upazila parishads in the second phase.

But all the candidates in two upazilas – Cumilla Adarsha Sadar and Raozan in Chattogram– have already been elected uncontested, finding no rival contestant for their respective posts.

Besides, the elections to five other upazilas were postponed on different grounds, but two upazilas were included afresh for the second phase.

The polls to Babuganj, Wazirpur and Banaripara upazilas in Barishal district were deferred to the 4th phase, but Muladi and Hizla upazilas in Barishal were incorporated in the second phase.

The elections to Moulvibazar Sadar upazila and Ruma upazila in Bandarban were postponed due to administrative reasons and legal complexities respectively.

A circular issued by the home ministry in this regard informed that a security team of 17 to 19 members would guard each polling station in the plain districts, while a security team of 19 to 21 members would protect a polling station in the Chittagong hill tracts and very remote areas.

As per the BGB media release, a total of 457 platoons of BGB have been deployed to maintain law and order ahead of the second phase of upazila parishad polls and the force will remain deployed from May 19 till May 23.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission is arranging the sixth upazila parishad election in four phases. The commission has already declared the election schedule to hold polls in some 480 upazilas out of the country’s 495 upazilas.

The first phase election was held in 139 upazila parishads of 59 districts on May 8.

The third phase election will be held in some 110 Upazilas on May 29 and 4th phase polls more than 50 upazilas on June 5.