UZ polls in phases from March: EC Secy


Staff Reporter :
The elections to the Upazila Parishads will begin by the first week of March, says the Election Commission (EC).
"The fifth Upazila polls will be held in multiple phases across the country," EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed told the media on Thursday at Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital's Agargaon.
According to the law, election must be completed within six months before the Upazila Parishad's terms expires.
Helal Uddin said, the Bangladeshi expatriates will get voting right. Those who live in Singapore will be the first. It will be started from April. For this purpose, a group of election officials  will leave Bangladesh within 4 to 5 days. Then the UAE expatriates will get voting right.    
The Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed-led Commission administered the last Upazila election in six phases between February and May in 2014 after the 10th national election on January 5 that year.
This year for the first time, the Upazila council elections will take place on party basis where the candidates will contest with a political party's registered symbol.
The commission has the power to hold the presidential and national elections, but any other election has to be sanctioned by the local government division.
The Election Commission will announce next week the election schedule for the 50 reserved seats for women in the 11th Parliament, EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said.
"According to the 11th Parliamentary election results, 43 seats will be reserved for Awami League, while four for the Jatiya Party, one for Jatiya Oikyafront and two for the independent and other candidates," Helal Uddin Ahmed told.
The election to the 50 reserved seats is required to be held within 90 days from the election results are published in a gazette.
The AL-led grand alliance secured 288 seats -- the AL 257, the JP 22 and others 9 -- in the December 30 election. The BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront got only eight seats.
Meanwhile, leader of opposition and JP Chairman HM Ershad has already submitted a list of four candidates from his party to the speaker on Wednesday (Jan 9).