3rd phase polls in 117 upazilas begins

A Bangladeshi woman casts her vote at a polling station in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Police fired at protesters and more than 100 polling stations were torched in Sunday’s general elections marred by violence and a boycott by the opposition, which dismissed the polls as a farce. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Voting in 117 upazilas in 25 districts in third phases of 5th Upazila Parishad elections begins  today. The polling started at 8 am and it will continue till 4 pm without any break.

About 1,376 aspirants, including 358 for chairman post, 604 for vice-chairman and 414 for women vice-chairman posts, are contesting the third phase polls. Though the election to chairman, vice-chairman and reserved vice-chairman posts is being held under party banner, ruling Awami League has kept the vice-chairman and reserved vice-chairman posts open to all without giving party nominations. About 2.47 crore voters will exercise their franchise in the elections in 10,018 polling centres in 117 upazilas. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) is being used in the polls in several upazilas while a general holiday has been announced today in the respective upazilas. Additional members of the law enforcement agencies have been deployed and they will be remained on duty till two days after the polling day to hold the election in a peaceful manner. Though the third phase election was scheduled to be held in 127 Upazila Parishads under 17 districts in five divisions, there will be no voting in six upazilas as candidates in all posts were elected unopposed in those upazilas. Besides, polls to two upazilas of Cox’s Bazar Sadar and Narsingdi Sadar have been shifted to fourth phase of elections. The fourth and fifth phases of the Upazila Parishad elections will be held on March 31 and July 18 respectively.