B'desh EC announces schedule for local body polls; relaxes emergency

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Dhaka, Jun 20 (UNI) Bangladesh Election Commission today announced elections for the four city corporations and nine municipalities amid protests by political parties demanding parliament elections to be held before the local body polls.

Announcing the election schedule at a crowded media conference, Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda said the state of emergency will be relaxed for 21 days from July 13 to August 4 for the election campaign in those cities and municipalities where the polling will be held.

The city corporations going to the polls are Rajshahi, Barisal, Sylhet and Khulna.

The nine municipalities are Dupchachia in Bogra, Naohata in Rajshahi, Sreepur in Gazipur, Fulbaria in Mymensingh, Golapganj in Sylhet, Sitakunda in Chittagong, and Chuadanga, Manikganj and Shariatpur district headquarters.

The tenure of these city coprorations and municipalities had expired much earlier.

According to the schedule, the last date for filing nomination papers is July 3, scrutiny of nomination papers is July 7, last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is July 13 and polling date is August 4.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Awami League opposed the local body polls saying the current caretaker government had no constitutional mandate to hold the local government elections other than the parliament elections slated for December this year.

BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain asked the Election Commission not to proceed with the local elections and cautioned that the government will be responsible for any untoward incident.

Awami League presidium members Amir Hossain Amu and Syeda sajeda Chowdhury also protested the holding of the local body elections before the parliamentary polls.

UNI XC SYU ND1830

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