3rd phase polls in 83 Upazilas on March 15


The Election Commission [EC] has announced the date for holding third phase election in the country's 83 upzila parishads, including eight upazilas in coastal and haor belt, on March 15.Election Commissioner Md Shah Nawaz forally announced the polls schedule at a press conference at EC secretariat on Thursday. "The last date for the submission of nomination papers is February 15.The last date for the scrutiny of nomination papers has been fixed on February 17. Besides, the withdrawal of candidature may be completed by February 24," he said. Shah Nawaz announced the polls scheduled in absence of Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed, who is now out of the city. Earlier, the EC held meetings with concerned deputy commissioners, police superintendents, district election officers and returning officers on election matters and took note of the consent about the overall law and order situation.  A total of 19,852,097 voters will exercise their rights of franchise in the third phase of the upazila polls where voting will be held at 51,587 polling centers for five days.The EC has planned to hold fourth phase of election on March 25 at 72 upzilas, fifth phase on March 31 at 65 upzilas and sixth phase on May 3 at 57 upzilas, EC source said.On the first phase, out of 98 upzilas, the polls will be held at 97 upzilas on February 19 and the rest one at Peerganj upzila of Rangpur district on February 24. Besides, the second phase of upzila election will be held at 117 upzials on February 27.The voting to the country's 480 upazila parishads will be complete in six phases by June this year, the source added.Meanwhile, the EC has also taken decision for deploying army for five days and other law enforcement agencies including Border Guard Bangladesh [BGB], RAB, police, Ansar, Coast Guard, VDP during the polls. In normal situation, the EC will deploy 14 members of law enforcement agencies at each polling centrs and 15 at vulnerable centers while 17 will be deployed in centres in the Haor areas and Chittagong Hill TractsArmy was deployed for five days in third upazila parishad polls held on January 22, 2009.