UP polls timetable likely tomorrow
The Election Commission is likely to announce tomorrow the schedule for Union Parishad polls to be held in around 700 UPs in the third week of March.
The commission would finalise the schedule today at a meeting among the chief election commissioner (CEC), other EC commissioners and top officials of the EC Secretariat, sources said.
Polls to the rest of around 4,500 UPs would be held in phases later, said the EC officials.
For the first time, elections to the chairman posts in the UPs are going to be held on partisan lines. The EC has already revised the electoral code of conduct to that end and would issue a gazette notification today.
As per the revised code, ministers and lawmakers will be barred from joining any kind of electioneering in the UP polls.
The law ministry has meanwhile scrapped the EC's proposal to have the authority to cancel candidacy of chairman and councillor aspirants for violating the electoral code.
The EC last month incorporated a provision in the draft amendment to the electoral code of conduct with that proposal. The commission later sent the draft of the revised code to the law ministry for vetting.
But the ministry dropped the provision while scrutinising the draft and sent it back to the commission yesterday on completion of the vetting.
"I think the commission should have the power to cancel candidacy. It will help the commission to curb violation of electoral rules by candidates and their supporters," said a deputy secretary of the EC Secretariat asking not to be identified.
The commission enjoys such power in case of parliament, city corporation, upazila parishad and municipality polls. The UP polls should not be different, the EC official told The Daily Star yesterday.
Election Commissioner Zabed Ali has meanwhile said they would give top most priority to maintaining law and order during the polls.