Planning to hold Union Parishad UP elections in March-April

The Election Commission (EC) has planned to hold the Union Parishad (UP) elections in March-April. This constitutional institution is thinking of voting step by step nationwide.

In this case, the election schedule will be announced after 40 to 37 days for voting. The first phase of voting is likely to take place in mid-March.

The second phase of voting is likely to take place at the end of March and the third phase in April.

The commission will announce the schedule at the beginning of February. This time there is a plan to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in Upazila Sadar UPs along with ballot papers with party symbols.

According to the law, the commission has to hold the first phase election by March 21 next year. Yesterday the Election Commission announced the schedule of five Union Parishad elections postponed.

Among them, three unions of Rangpur Sadar Upazila, one of Lalmohan of Bhola and one of Rupganj Upazila of Narayanganj will vote on October 20. Various postponed elections will be held throughout October.

The Local Government (Union Council) Act states about the tenure of the council - the chairman and members of a council shall hold the said office for a period of five years from the date of the first meeting of the concerned council.

It is said about the election of the Parishad- Any general election for the constitution of the Parishad shall be held within 180 days of the completion of five years from the date of the previous general election held for that Parishad.

The law mentions that - if the election is not possible due to natural disasters or any other reason within the prescribed period of 5 years, the government may, by written order, empower the concerned council to conduct the proceedings until the election or for a maximum of 90 days, whichever occurs first.

In 2016, the commission organized voting in 4 thousand 279 unions in six phases. In the first phase, 752 UP polls were held on March 22. This was followed by polling in 710 UPs on 31 March, 711 UPs on 23 April, 728 UPs on 7 May, 714 UPs on 28 May and 660 UPs on 4 June.

But this time the number of UP has also increased. EC officials say that currently there are 4,571 Union Parishads in the country. However, due to complications in 200 UP cases, the election has been stalled.

Apart from this, as general elections are held in some UPs at other times of the year, EC officials said that the commission has started preparations for the most important local government elections in 4,100 UPs. The schedule will start in the first week of February next year.

Elections will continue throughout the year. However, by-elections will be held in about two hundred UPs next October. Like last time, the upcoming UP polls will also be on party symbols. Educational qualification is not mandatory for chairman or member candidates.

When asked about the local government elections, EC Senior Secretary Md. Alamgir said that the elections will be held from November. He said, the postponed election will start from October. And when the election comes between November-December-January, it will be done on time. 

Voting in five UPs on October 20: Yesterday, the Election Commission announced the schedule for the postponed general elections of five Union Parishads. The five UPs are - Sadyapuskarini, Haridebpur, Chandanpat of Rangpur Sadar Upazila. Farashganj of Lalmohan Upazila of Bhola, Daudpur Union Parishad of Rupganj Upazila of Narayanganj will be polled on October 20.

Voting will continue from 9 am to 5 pm. This schedule was announced yesterday in a notification signed by EC Deputy Secretary Atiyar Rahman. As per the schedule, the last date for submission of nomination papers in these UPs is September 23, verification is September 26 and last date for withdrawal of candidature is October 3. And allotment of symbols on October 4.

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