4th phase of UP polls sees fewer AL men being elected unopposed
Just six ruling Awami League chairman candidates are set to be elected unopposed in the fourth phase of the union parishad polls, a sharp decline from the previous phases of the polls.
In the first phase, 54 AL-nominated candidates were elected uncontested to the chairman posts in 725 union parishads, while the number of elected unopposed chairmen in the second and third phase of the polls were 34 and 25, Election Commission sources said.
Sources at the EC said the number of elected unopposed chairman candidates dropped sharply as it took measures so that nomination papers could be submitted at two places.
During the first phase of UP polls, the EC received allegations of AL chairman aspirants creating obstacles for their opponents in submitting nomination papers to the returning officer's office.
From the second phase of the polls, the EC took a step so that the aspirants are able to submit their nomination papers to the deputy commissioner's office apart from the returning officer's office.
Following the EC's move, the BNP got more candidates to run for the chairman posts, compared to the first two phases of the polls, party insiders said.
In the fourth phase, the party failed to nominate candidates in 55 out of 727 UPs. But in the first two phases, it faced a crisis of candidates as the ruling party men allegedly suppressed and intimidated them into not running for the polls, sources at the BNP and the EC said.
In the first phase, the BNP failed to name candidates in 114 UPs, and the number decreased to 75 and 51 in the second and third phases, the BNP claimed.
Asaduzzaman, director (public relations) of the EC, said April 7 was the last day for submitting nomination papers in the fourth phase of the election, and 3,725 nomination papers were submitted for the chairmen posts in 727 UPs. The AL was able to name candidates in all UPs, while the BNP nominated candidates in 672 UPs, he said.
The number of the unopposed elected chairman candidates may rise from six as the deadline for withdrawal of nominations is yet to expire, EC sources said.
Meanwhile, President of a faction of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday sent a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, asking him to allocate the electoral symbol "torch" for his faction.
In the letter, he said the party held a council, and he and Shirin Akhter were elected president and general secretary.
But some leaders, including Sharif Nurul Ambia and Mainuddin Khan Badal, left the party and were plotting to form another party with the same name and registration number and electoral symbol, alleged Inu, who is also the information minister.
The EC already talked to the two factions on April 6, but is yet to make any decision.