Voting for the first phase of the postponed 160 Union Parishad (UP) elections has begun. Voting starts at 8am on Monday (September 20) and will continue until 4pm. Besides, several by-elections are being held in 9 municipalities and local government councils of the country.
In the first phase of 160 Union Parishad (UP) elections postponed due to the Corona epidemic, 44 Awami League-nominated chairman candidates have been elected unopposed. This situation is believed to have arisen due to the announcement of boycott of UP elections. Although there was no BNP in the party symbol vote, several parties including Awami League, Jatiya Party, Islami Andolan Bangladesh took part in it. Some BNP leaders and activists also took part in the election as independent candidates.
The Election Commission has made all preparations for voting in these elections. Transparent, free, neutral and acceptable elections will be held, said the Secretary of the Election Commission. Humayun Kabir Khandaker. “With the preparations we have made, we can expect the vote to be fair and neutral,” he told the media on Sunday (September 19th).
According to the Election Commission, there is no general holiday in the constituency. However, election officials will be on leave. Citizens will be able to vote on leave from the concerned office.
Though voting was supposed to take place in 161 UPs, one UP election has been postponed on the direction of the High Court. In 44 out of 160 UPs, the chairman candidates have been elected unopposed. All those elected unopposed are nominated by the Awami League. However, elections will be held in these UPs for the posts of general members and women members of reserved seats.
According to the Local Government Election Act, campaigning must end 32 hours before the start of voting. As such, the preaching work has stopped at 12 noon on September 18. After this period, neither the candidates nor the supporters will be able to run any kind of campaign. A ban has been imposed on the movement of motorcycles in the constituency from midnight on September 18 to 12 noon on September 21. Besides, trucks and pickups, launches, speedboats and motorized boats will not be allowed in the constituency from 12 noon on September 19 to 12 noon on the day before the polls. In addition, other services including emergency services will be able to operate.
Voting will be held in about 4000 UPs in the country in a few steps. On March 3, the Election Commission announced the schedule of 371 UP votes in the first phase. Voting was later postponed due to the Corona situation. Among the postponed polls, 204 UP polls were held on June 20.