As many as 33 candidates for chairman, vice-chairman and female vice-chairperson posts are set to win uncontested in the first two phases of the upazila elections.
The staggered Upazila Parishad polls are starting with 86 units of the local government body going to the polls in the first of the fives phases on Mar 10 and 124 in the second phase on Mar 18.
The aspirants have submitted their nominations and the number of single candidates may rise after the end of the deadline to pull out from the race, reports bdnews24.com.
There are eight single candidates in the first phase and 25 in the second, according to Election Commission Assistant Secretary Ashfaqur Rahman.
They will be elected unopposed after the scrutiny of their papers, he told the media on Tuesday.
The deadline for nomination submission in the second phase ended on Monday.
No fewer than 14 chairman candidates, five vice-chairman and six female vice-chairman candidates are going to be elected uncontested in this phase, according to Ashfaqur.
Pabna Sadar, Faridpur Sadar, Noakhali’s Hatia and Chattogram’s Raozan have single candidates for all three posts.
Besides these four, Faridpur’s Boalmari has a lone vice-chairman candidate while the two other upazilas with single female vice-chairperson candidates are Kanaighat in Sylhet and Mirsarai in Chattogram.
Only one chairman candidate submitted nomination papers for 14 upazilas, including four of the seven in Chattogram besides Raozan.
The others in Chattogram are Sitakunda, Sandwip, Rangunia and Mirsarai. Hathazari and Fatikchharhi have two and three chairman candidates, respectively.
The other upazilas with lone chairman candidates include Bogura’s Adamdighi, Naogaon Sadar, Moulvibazar Sadar, Rangamati’s Kaptai and Khagrhachharhi’s Manikchharhi.
Of the eight going to be elected unopposed in the first phase, four are chairman candidates in Jamalpur’s Sariashabarhi, Melandaha and Madarganj, and Joypurhat Sadar.
The upazilas with lone vice-chairman candidates in the first phase are Sirajganj’s Shahjadpur and Ullaparha; and female vice-chairperson in Rajshahi’s Godagarhi and Sirajganj’s Ullaparha.
The upazila Parishad elections were held in a day in 1990 and 2009 after the local government body was formed in 1985.
The previous commission held the elections to around 500 upazilas in six phases from March in 2014 after the last general election.
The BNP’s decision to boycott the local government elections after its rout in what it called engineered parliamentary polls has “disappointed” Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda.
“Many large political parties are not contesting the election,” he said on Sunday. “This is undoubtedly disappointing for us.”
“We always want and have always wanted the elections to be competitive and participatory. That all parties should contest them,” he added.
Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar said on Tuesday the upazila polls are going to lose “competitiveness” due to the BNP’s boycott.
In the 2009 upazila polls, 12 candidates were elected uncontested while in 2014, the BNP put up a good fight in the first two phases but the Awami League eventually confirmed majority in the three remaining phases.