717 UPs go to polls today

717 UPs go to polls today

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Some 717 Union Parishads (UPs) across the country are going to polls on Saturday in the 5th phase of election to the lowest tier of the local government.The voting will be held from 8am to 4pm without any break through 6,484 polling stations, according to latest information provided by the Election Commission (EC).
The EC has already taken all necessary preparations to arrange the election, Election Commissioner Shah Nawaz told UNB.
Some 3,200 chairman contestants — 1,700 from 15 political parties and 1,500 independent ones — are there in the 5th phase election race.
Besides, some 34,000 candidates are contesting the polls for member posts and reserved seats of the UPs.
As per the EC statistics, AL has got its chairman candidates in almost all the UPs, while its arch rival BNP has no contestant in some 100 UPs. Besides, Jatiya Party (Ershad) has candidates in over 150 UPs.
Like the previous four phases, no balloting is required against 41 chairman posts where ruling Awami League candidates have already been elected uncontested in the 5th phase.
Earlier, some 152 AL chairman contenders were elected unopposed in the first four phases of the election that started in March last.
More than 1.10 crore people are expected to exercise their rights in the 5th phase election.
As per media reports, over 80 people have so far been killed in polls violence after the UP election schedule was first announced in February last.
Five magistrates — four executive magistrates and a judiciary magistrate — remain deployed to take action against election irregularities for four days from Thursday in each upazilas.
Alongside the magistrates, additional number of Police, Rab, BGB, APBn, Ansar and Coastguard members will remain deployed during the four days in the election areas to maintain electoral environment.
On April 21, the EC announced the election schedule for the 5th phase of the UP election.
In the first four phases, AL bagged 1,836 chairman posts, while BNP got only 243 chairman posts and independent candidates won in 526 posts.
The EC has a plan to arrange 4,275 UPs out of the country’s 4546 ones in six phases this year.

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