UP, Pourasabha Elections: Barishal polls officials voice worries to CEC
Field-level election officials have expressed fear of chaos at the upcoming Union Parishad and Pourasabha elections, stemming from confrontational local politics and factional feuds.
At a views-exchange meeting with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda yesterday, they requested to assign magistrates for each union. Not only that, election officials also wanted sufficient number of magistrates and law enforcement personnel at violence-prone and remote polling centres.
The meeting was held at the city's circuit house, ahead of the upcoming first phase of the 173 Union Parishad and one municipal election in the division.
Deputy Commissioner Md Jasimuddin presided over the meeting where the divisional commissioner and representatives from divisional and district level police administration were present.
Field-level officials stressed on the need for special measures for centres that have a precedence of violence during polling.
The CEC assured them that untoward situations will dealt with by the local administration. "They have promised to provide additional magistrates, law enforcement personnel, and vehicles in violence-prone areas," he said.
The CEC said when it comes to perpetrators of poll-time violence, one's party affiliation will not be considered, and directed strict action against violators of electoral code of conduct.
Addressing the concern surrounding elections during the pandemic, the CEC said there may not be a direct correlation of poll preparations and the spike in Covid-19 cases.
"Rajshahi is not hosting any election, but their cases are increasing. In Barishal, poll preparations are underway, but there are much fewer new cases."
"Elections are going on all over the world. The pandemic has not stopped elections, because the importance of elections is different, more than corona," he said.
Regional election official Md Alauddin said the elections are going to be held on June 21. This is excluding the twenty-six unions that have already been elected, uncontested.
Asked about the uncontested elections, the CEC said, "It's better not to hear from me, we are merely election managers. It is not up to the Election Commission to decide who the candidates will be."