The first phase of polls to Union Parishads (UP) in the country ended as elections to 160 UPs were held on Monday (September 20). The polls are part of the first phase of UP elections that were postponed due to the Covid-19 situation.
Besides, elections to nine municipalities were also held on Monday.
The voting began at 8:00 am and continued till 4:00 pm without any break. The voting took place in the unions and municipalities following the health safety guidelines.
Candidates from the ruling Awami League, Jatiya Party, and some other parties took part in this year’s UP elections.
Members of the law enforcement agencies including Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), police, and Ansar were deployed in the electoral areas from Saturday last to maintain law and order.
Election Commission (EC) data shows that in 160 union parishads, 45 chairman candidates were elected uncontested. Out of the 45 UPs, 38 were in Bagherhat. Of them, all but one was from the ruling Awami League.
There are a total of 500 candidates for the post of chairman. About 1,965 candidates in the reserved wards and 6,333 candidates in the general wards.
Meanwhile, out of nine municipalities, three candidates won unopposed as mayors at Langalkot in Cumilla, Kabirhat in Noakhali, and Boalkhali in Chattogram.
The electronic Voting Machine (EVM) system was used in the nine municipalities and in 11 UPs of 160.
Meanwhile, at least three people were killed in polls related to violence in Cox’s Bazar and Bagerhat on Monday and Sunday night. Two people were shot dead at Noapara Madrassah Centre at Qutubjom Union of Maheshkhali Island in Cox’s Bazar on Monday morning. The deceased was identified as Abul Kalam, 40, and Abdul Hakim.
The incident took place after supporters of Awami League candidate Sheikh Kamal and rebel candidate Mosharraf Hossain Khokon tried to seize control of the center around 9:00 am.
In Bagerhat, a woman was killed in a clash at Chandpai Union in Mongla Upazila on Sunday night. The deceased was identified as Fatema Begum,70.
The supporters of Chandpai Union Parishad member candidate Matiar Rahman Moral and supporters of rival candidate Shafiqul Islam were locked in the clash over the polls, leaving Fatema dead on the spot and four others injured.
Police detained two people from the spot, said Officer-in-Charge of Mongla police station Mohammad Monirul Islam.
The 10th UP election will end in four phases. The second phase of the UP polls is likely to be held in early November, the third phase of the voting will take place in mid-November and the fourth phase will be held at the end of November or the first week of December, said EC sources.
In March this year, the EC decided to hold elections for all UPs in several phases. As per the decision, the schedule for holding polls to 371 UPs in the first phase was announced on March 3 and the elections date was fixed on April 11. However, the election was postponed due to the Covid-19 situation.
Later on, the elections were rescheduled for June 21. However, as the Covid-19 situation worsened in bordering areas, polls were postponed in 167 UPs and the polls were held to the rest of 204 UPs.
Later, the EC in the beginning of September decided to hold the elections to 160 Union Parishads on September 20. The commission took the decision as the Covid-19 infections had been decreasing.