The Election Commission (EC) is likely to announce today to hold elections to around 117 upazila parishads on February 27 in the second phase.
The last date for filing and withdrawing nomination papers may be February 2 and February 11 and those might be scrutinised on February 4, said the EC sources.
“As tenure of these upazila parishad will expire soon, we are legally bound to hold elections to these upazilas immediate. We have the plan to announce schedule tomorrow (Thursday),” an election commissioner told The Daily Star.
The EC has chalked out a plan to hold elections to all 487 upazila parishads across the country in six phases. As part of its plan the commission on January 19 announced that elections to 102 upazila parishad will be held on February 19 in first phase.
Besides, the EC mulls to hold elections to 74 upazila parishads in the third phase on March 15; 72 in the fourth phase on March 25; 65 in the fifth phase on March 31; and 57 in on May 3, said EC officials.
As Secondary School Certificate and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations are due in February and March, the commission on January 20 sent letters to the education ministry asking for its opinion. The ministry yesterday gave nod to the voting schedule designed by the EC.
The EC is yet to take decision whether voting of four upzilas will be deferred or not due to complexity over boundary demarcation.
Elections to Rangpur Sadar, Gangachara, Pirgacha and Kawnia upazila were scheduled to be held on February 19. But the Local Government Division on Tuesday in a letter informed the EC that it needs to demarcate boundaries of these upazilas again.
Officials of the EC Secretariat are saying elections to these upazilas may be deferred, while Election Commissioner Shah Nawaz last evening told The Daily Star, “We are yet to take any decision about these four upazilas.”
LAW AND ORDER MEETING
The EC will hold a meeting today with different security agencies to chalk out the plan for maintaining law and order during the elections to 101 upazilas to be held on February 19.
The elections to the two polling centres of Kurigram-4 constituency will be held today (Thursday) as voting of these centres was postponed on January 5 polls due to violence.
In this constituency, Ruhul Amin of Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) is running ahead by getting 30,544 votes, while his rival candidate Zakir Hossain of AL got 23,946 votes.