The Bangladesh Election Commission on Thursday postponed polls to 163 union parishads, out of 367, which were scheduled to be held on June 21.
The commission at an emergency meeting took the decision following the rise in Covid infections in the electoral areas, EC secretary Humayun Kabir Khandakar told reporters at a press conference at Nirbachon Bhaban in the capital.
According to the fresh decision, elections to 68 union parishads in Bagerhat, 34 in Khulna, 21 in Satkhira, 13 in Noakhali, 12 in Chittagong, and 15 in Cox’s Bazar have been suspended.
Elections to nine municipalities, out of 11, have also been postponed.
The commission suspended the elections after reviewing recommendations of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, and opinions from local administration along with regional election officials, Humayun said.
The commission, however, decided to conduct elections to 204 other union parishads on June 21, he said, adding that by-polls to Lakshmipur 2 constituency will also be held on the day as per the schedule although the IEDCR and local administrations were against the holding of any elections during the Covid pandemic, according to officials.
The official said that the commission rescheduled the by-polls to Cumilla-5, Dhaka-14, and Sylhet-3 to July 28 from July 14, he said.
On June 2, the commission announced election schedules for 371 union parishads, 11 municipalities and the by-election to Lakshmipur-2, Dhaka-14, Cumilla-5 and Sylhet-3 parliamentary constituencies.
Of them, elections to 371 UPs, 11 municipalities and a by-election to Lakshmipur-2 will be held on June 21 while by-elections to the rest of the three Jatiya Sangsad seats will be held on July 14.
The election to 371 UPs, 11 municipalities and by-election to Lakshmipur-2 was scheduled for April 11 initially. But the commission suspended the polls following the Covid outbreak.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Politics