Voting postponed in two municipalities over polls-centric violence
Amid reports of regular clashes between the municipal polls candidates and their supporters, the fourth phase elections are all set to take place in 54 municipalities of 37 districts on Sunday morning.
Voters using electronic voting machines will start exercising their franchise at 8am, which will continue till 4pm without any break in 30 municipalities of 29 districts. Ballots will be cast through in the rest municipalities.
In fact, the voting was first scheduled in 57 municipalities, but the Election Commission (EC) later on postponed the elections to the Kalkini municipality in Madaripur and Kalai municipality in Joypurhat over pre-polls violence.
Meanwhile, all 10 candidates including that for the mayoral post in Feni's Parshuram municipality won unopposed, causing the election to be suspended.
The first phase election to 24 municipalities was held on December 28. The second and third phase voting took place in 60 and 62 municipalities on January 16 and January 30 respectively.
In one of the latest incidents, the supporters of the Awami League-endorsed mayoral candidate and an independent aspirant of Alamdanga municipality in Chudanga clashed and carried out vandalism on Thursday night.
Similar clashes were reported in the previous three spates of the municipal polls, with violence erupting during voting in at least eight municipalities on January 30.
BNP and independent candidates boycotted the third phase elections to some 10 municipalities.
The EC has taken all-out preparations for the polls. Security has been heightened in the electoral areas through the deployment of additional law enforcers, with one magistrate assigned for each of the 54 municipalities.
The fifth phase election to 31 municipalities has been scheduled for February 28.