AL leads in 3rd-phase upazila polls

Staff Correspondent

25 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Chairman candidates of the ruling Awami League swept the third phase of upazila parishad elections held at different parts of the country on Sunday.

According to results unofficially announced by the returning officers till 12:00pm, AL won 67 chairman posts while independent and other candidates bagged 18 posts in 85 upazila parishads, out of a total 117.

Polling in the third phase of Upazila Parishad elections ended on Sunday afternoon amid sporadic incidents of violence and irregularities.

Amid boycott by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) voting began at 8:00am and continued till 4:00pm.

Elections to 177 upazila parishads in 25 districts of Dhaka, Mymensingh, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barishal and Chattogram divisions were held during the third phase.

A total of 340 candidates vied for chairman while 584 for vice-chairman and 399 for reserved vice-chairman posts.

Thirty-three chairman, nine vice-chairman and 13 reserved vice-chairman candidates have already been elected unopposed.

Election Commission (EC) secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said, “Percentage of voting doesn’t matter. EC hasn’t headache over percentage. Peaceful election matters.”

He made the comments at a press conference at the media centre of Agargoan EC office in the capital on Sunday.

In Chattogram, a police constable and one person sustained bullet injuries as miscreants attacked and opened fire at a polling station in Chandnaish upazila in the morning.

Keshab Chakraborty, officer-in-charge (OC) of Chandnaish police station told newsmen that a gang of miscreants swooped on a polling station at Purba Chandnaish Government Primary School for rigging.

Locals alleged that within an hour of voting, supporters of Awami League candidate K M Nazim Uddin entered the polling booths and tried to take control of the polling station.

Following the incident, the EC suspended voting in the centre.

In Kishoreganj, the EC suspended voting at all centres in Katiadi upazila following allegations of massive irregularities.

Besides, additional superintendent of police (ASP) Shafiqul Islam and Katiadi police station OC Shamsuddin have been withdrawn following incidents of vote rigging, district election officer Mohammad Tajul Islam said.

Earlier in the morning, polling at five stations was suspended. Polling was suspended at 84 polling stations over stuffing of vote at night, the election official said.