Dhaka Evening News

Zila Parishad polls: Electioneering ends tonight

The electioneering in the Zila Parishad (district council) elections across the country is set to end on Monday midnight, 32 hours before voting opens on Wednesday.

A total of 63,143 voters, including 14,800 women, who are elected representatives of other local bodies, will be allowed to cast ballots in the district council elections in 61 districts to be held in non-partisan manner unlike polls to other local bodies.

However, 22 out of 61 chairman posts went uncontested finding single candidate against each post.

The 22 districts where chairmen were elected unopposed are Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Joypurhat, Naogaon, Natore, Sirajganj, Kushtia, Jessore, Bagerhat, Jhalakati, Bhola, Netrakona, Kishoreganj, Gazipur, Tangail, Munshiganj, Dhaka, Narayanganj, Faridpur, Habiganj, Feni and Chittagong.

The balloting will be held from 8am to 2pm in 1,830 booths of 915 polling stations in 61 districts except three Chittagong Hill Tract districts — Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban.

Election Commissioner Shah Nawaz on Monday urged the MPs to leave the election areas, warning that the Election Commission would take legal action for unlawfully influencing the voters.

“We’ve received complaints that some candidates and MPs are trying to influence voters going to their own constituencies… we’ve asked them to leave the election areas for the sake of fair election,” he told reporters at his EC Secretariat office.

Shah Nawaz said an executive magistrate will be deployed in each polling station to punish election irregularities.

Besides, an adequate number of law enforcement agencies, including police, Rab, BGB and Coast Guard, will be deployed to ensure security in each polling station, he added.

The Election Commission also imposed restrictions on carrying mobile phone inside the polling station, said an EC handout on Monday.

He also said if any voter put any sign or mark on the ballot paper, the ballot will be cancelled.

Deputy commissioners are acting as the returning officers of the district council elections, while district election officers as assistant returning officers.

In each district council, all the elected representatives –mayor/chairman, councillors/members and vice chairmen– of the city corporations, upazila parishad, pourasavas and union parishads under the district will elect a 21-member body for the district council.

The 21-member body will be comprised of a chairman, 15 general members and five women members from reserved seats.

On November 20, the EC announced the election schedule for the 61 district councils in 61 districts.

With the first district council election, some 1,281 posts are going to polls in 61 districts.

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