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DHAKA Tuesday 18 February 2014, 6 Falgun 1420, BS 17 Rabius Sani 1435 HIJRI

Upazila polls begin tomorrow Army, BGB to guard
Publish Date : 2014-02-18,  Publish Time : 23:03,  View Count : 14
Al Amin
Election Commission (EC) is going to hold the first phase of the 4th Upazila Parisad Elections in 97 upazilas from tomorrow amid tight security measures and festive mood.
The polling will begin at 8.00 am and continue till 4.00 pm without any break.
Although, the last national elections were unable to bring any festive mood among the voters, but the situation was different in upazila polls.
This time the polls will be lively as all the major political parties are taking part in it. Besides party candidates, many independent contenders are on the race.
All kinds of campaign including processions and meetings ended at midnight last night in line with electoral laws. A number of armed forces have already been posted in all the polling stations in 40 of 64 districts.
The EC sources said one platoon of army has been deployed as striking force in all centres and they will stay near the polling centres till two days after the polling day.
Besides, some members of anti-crime elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), police and ansar have been posted for peaceful holding of the polls.   
The commission has also taken extra-security measures for the vulnerable and coastal polling centres.
Some 1,274 candidates are on the race. Of them, 432 for chairman, 513 for vice-chairman and 329 for reserved women vice-chairman.
A total of 16478172 voters will exercise their franchise in the polls while the total number of polling centres is 6995.
Election Commissioner Shah Newaz said, "We have already asked the law enforcing agencies to ensure strong security measures for the voters, especially the minorities on the polling day."
He also said, "The commission is hoping that the polls will be peaceful as the law enforcers assured them that there will be no violence."
If anyone from election officials or candidates attempt to create disturbances or violet the electoral rules, would be punished in line with the election laws, he added.     
The EC has announced schedules for elections to nearly 400 upazila councils in four phases. The polls to 98 upazila councils would be held in the first phase on February 19, 117 upazilas in the second phase on February 27, 83 upazilas in the third phase on March 15 and 92 upazilas  in the fourth phase on March 23.
The schedule of the fifth phase of upazila polls will be announced this week because the EC wants to finish the polls by the end of March.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka. Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000. Phone :9586651-58. Fax: 9586659-60, Advertisemnet: 9513663, E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]