In the second phase of the fifth upazila parishad (UZ) elections, Awami League (AL) candidates won the chairman posts in 55 upazilas, while independents, including AL rebels, were elected in 43 upazilas, according to unofficial results compiled by Election Commission (EC) officials. Chairman candidates in 24 upazilas were elected unopposed, as per the EC. The EC had announced the schedule for the second phase of polls in 129 upazilas. But elections were held in 116 upazilas in 16 districts in the second phase on Monday.
According to the latest poll results of 116 upazilas, 24 candidates were elected chairmen uncontested. The election began at 8am on Monday and ended at 4 pm. Voter turnout was very low, according to media reports. Absence of major political parties in the polls caused many voters to turn away from the polls, said sources.
Besides, 12 candidates, including one from the AL, boycotted the polls due to the alleged stuffing of ballot boxes, ballot snatching and rigging.
A total of 377 candidates contested for the chairman’s post, 548 for the vice-chairman’s post in the second phase. There were 400 contenders for the women vice-chairperson’s post.
As per the EC, 1.8 crore voters were supposed to cast their votes in around 7,039 polling stations.
The second phase of the upazila elections were held a week after the first phase of polls. The first phase took place on March 10 in 78 upazilas, with ruling party candidates reported victorious in most upazilas.
The fifth upazila parisahd elections are being held under the party banner for the first time.
The country’s major political parties, including the BNP, are boycotting the polls.
Like the first phase, the second phase of the upazila parishad elections was held on Monday peacefully.
Some allegations of rigging, stuffing of ballot boxes and snatching of ballot papers were made by various candidates.
As per the election schedule, the third phase of upazila parishad elections will be held on March 24, the fourth on March 31 and the fifth and last phase of the elections is likely to be held on June 18.