City corporation polls are being planned for five cities in July, the chief election commissioner (CEC) said on Thursday.
KM Nurul Huda said the Election Commission wanted to hold the votes before the 11th parliamentary election, which is expected to be held in late December 2018 or January 2019.
“The decision will be finalised at the Commission's meeting but we've initially made July as our target to hold the polls," he told reporters after distributing smart cards among voters in Paba Upazila's Damkurahat High School grounds in Rajshahi in the morning.
The CEC said the commission would hold a meeting “very soon” to work out the schedules for the city corporation elections in Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal, Sylhet and Gazipur.
“We have already started taking preparations for conducting the city polls,” Huda said.
“We have a plan to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as we did in the past. However, the commission will decide in its meeting about how many centres will use the EVM.”
The Election Commission will have only a narrow window in which to hold the elections. As per the city corporation laws, the EC must schedule a city corporation ballot for within 180 days of the expiry of its five-year term.
According to LGRD Ministry data, the tenure of Khulna City Corporation will end on September 25, Rajshahi on October 5, Barisal on October 23, Sylhet on October 8, and Gazipur on September 4.