2nd phase polls in 639 UPs on Thursday, EC directed to apply maximum use of power

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Dhaka, Mar 30: The second phase of Union Parishad (UP) polls under party banner is going to be held on Thursday in 639 UPs amid apprehension of violence and other irregularities like vote rigging and stuffing of ballot boxes like the picture of the first phase.

However, Election Commission (EC) directed the law enforces to apply their highest power under the purview of law to hold a free, fair and peaceful election.

The commission further said that it would take action against the law enforcers and election officers if they show any negligence or avoid duties during the polls.

Though EC assured the voters to go to the poling centres to cast votes as the law enforcers would ensure security, but the experience of the first phase of UP polls will put some pressure on the nerves the voters about the apprehension of violence.

In the first phase of UP polls at least 27 people were killed and several hundreds were injured before and after the polls on March 22 due to clashes of rival candidates and law enforcers.

Even there were different reportedly irregularities in the elections like stuffing of ballot boxes, vote rigging and occupation of centres in the first phase of polls.

The first phase marked violence both in the day of election and the post polls but the law enforcers hardly managed to tackle the violence.

Amid such a situation, the second phase of polls will be held today. Even there were allegations of violence during the polls campaign of the second phase but readiness of the law enforcers was not evident.

EC said the law enforcers will use their maximum power to hold fair elections.

“We will not count the law enforcers whatever force they belong to if they are found in avoiding duties or irregularities. We will take action against them,” Election Commissioner Md Shah Nawaz told the journalists on Wednesday.

“But if anyone engaged in election duty takes legal action, we will assist them. We will support their work. We want that they would apply maximum use of their power under law. They would not leave any perpetrators in the elections,” he added.

EC sources said it has already completed all necessary preparations to hold the polls in 639 UPs across the country. The election will begin at 8am and continue till 4pm without any break on Thursday.

A 1,12,12,334 crore voters will cast votes in 32,021 booths of 6,205 centres.

A total of 2662 chairman candidates will contest the polls. Of these, 1,493 candidates are politically nominated and the rest of the 1,169 candidate will contest from independent chairman post.

A total of 31 chairman candidates have already been elected unopposed from the ruling Awami League.

Awami League has its candidates numbering 639, BNP 560 and Jatiya Party 149.

There will be 6,498 member candidates from reserved seats and 21,259 are general member candidate.

The law enforcers including police, RAB, BGB, Armed Police Battalion and Ansar will be deployed in the elections areas to maintain law and order situation in the centres.

There will be 20 police and Ansar including a police officer in each polling centre to ensure security. The number may be increased if necessary.

Besides, there will be executive and judicial magistrates in the field to take punitive measures.

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