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Dhaka Tribune

EC aims to begin upazila parishad voting before Ramadan

  • Issue of selecting reserved seats for women would be raised
  • Intention to hold vote for reserved seats in February
Update : 16 Jan 2024, 09:31 PM

The Election Commission (EC) is seeking to initiate the upazila parishad elections before Ramadan, with a desire to complete the election process for some suitable upazilas in a single phase. 

Ashok Kumar Debnath, additional secretary of the Election Commission, shared this information with the media on Tuesday.

Additionally, Ashok mentioned that the issue of selecting reserved seats for women would be raised in the upcoming commission meeting next week. 

He expressed the commission's intention to hold the vote for reserved seats in February if the commission reaches a consensus.

Regarding the upazila parishad elections, the EC's additional secretary said that they have received the list of 485 upazilas eligible for elections. 

The Commission Secretariat is prepared to conduct the elections accordingly. If the commission decides, the schedule for upazila parishad elections can be announced, and there is a possibility of holding the voting before the start of Ramadan.

When asked about the likelihood of upazila elections before Ramadan, Ashok replied affirmatively, adding that all factors have become electable, considering the legal requirement for elections to be held 180 days before the expiration date. 

He acknowledged the upcoming SSC exam and assured that all aspects would be taken into consideration. 

While few precedents exist for holding elections during Ramadan, he expressed the possibility of starting the first phase before Ramadan and completing the rest afterward, pending commission approval.

The commission will determine the number of stages for the upazila elections, and Ashok noted the likelihood of conducting them in phases based on previous precedents. 

Currently, there are 495 upazila parishads in the country, and the elections for upazila parishads began on March 10, 2019, concluding in June after five phases. 

According to the law, the term of an upazila parishad starts from the day of the first meeting, serving for the subsequent five years. 

An election is mandatory within 180 days before the expiry date.

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