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>polls to 4 city corporations, 9 municipalities Aug 4

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>THE Election Commission (EC) yesterday announced that polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities will be held on August 4, while the caretaker government relaxed the Emergency Powers Rules (EPR) in respective areas allowing campaign processions and rallies. (Full report)
The city corporations of Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet, and the municipalities of Manikganj Sadar, Chuadanga Sadar, Shariatpur Sadar, Naohata of Rajshahi, Dupchanchiya of Bogra, Sripur of Gazipur, Fulbaria of Mymensingh, Golapganj of Sylhet and Sitakunda of Chittagong will have the elections.
According to the poll schedule published in an official gazette, the last date for submitting applications for candidacy is July 3, while July 6 and 7 are scheduled for scrutinising the applications, and the last date for withdrawing candidatures is July 13.
The EC announced the election schedule after the home ministry earlier in the day issued a notification relaxing certain provisions of EPR which had slapped a ban on holding rallies and processions during the state of emergency.
Asked about the majority of political parties’ opposition to holding local government elections before the parliamentary poll, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda said the commission would not do anything that might hamper holding of the stalled ninth parliamentary poll.
“The parliamentary election is our top priority. We are now more than confident…holding of local government polls will not have any adverse impact on the holding of parliamentary poll. Rather it will create an election atmosphere in the country,” the CEC said during a news briefing in the EC Secretariat yesterday afternoon.
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