Medical &Health

Covid surge: All elections slated for Apr 11 postponed

The Election Commission (EC) has postponed all elections scheduled for April 11 amid a massive surge in Covid-19 cases in recent days.

“Considering the overall coronavirus situation, the Commission has postponed the Laxmipur-2 by-polls, first phase election to 371 Union Parishads and the sixth phase election to 11 municipalities, which were all scheduled slated for April 11,” EC’s Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath told reporters.

The decision came from a meeting in the afternoon at the Nirbachan Bhaban with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair.

Bangladesh has been recording more than 5,000 cases per day since Monday. On Thursday, the health authorities confirmed 6,469 cases, the highest-ever daily case count since the first ones were announced on March 20 last year.

Debnath said these elections would not be held until the covid situation improves. The parliamentary by-polls and elections to the local bodies would be held from the stage where they were postponed, he added.

He said the candidates will have to keep their campaign suspended until the fresh date is announced for balloting.

EC announced schedules for these elections on March 11.

The deadline for submission of nomination was March 18. The nomination papers were scrutinised on March 19 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature was March 24.

The countrywide Union Parishad elections were supposed to kick off with polls to 371 at 64 upazilas of 19 districts.

Meanwhile, the EC announced the sixth phase municipal election to 11 bodies. It has already held elections to some 230 municipalities in the first five phases between December 28 and February 28 last.

The Laxmipur-2 constituency fell vacant on January 28 after independent MP Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul was convicted by a Kuwait court for criminal offenses.

Source: United News of Bangladesh