a month ago

Polls open in Cyclone Remal-hit upazilas

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Voters are casting their ballots to select local government representatives in 19 upazilas where polls were postponed due to Cyclone Remal.

Voting began at 8am at 1,181 polling centres in these upazilas and will continue uninterrupted until 4pm, election officials say.

The Upazilas were to go to the polls during the third phase of the Upazila polls on May 29, said Md Shariful Alam, spokesman for the Election Commission. But the election regulator postponed the polls due to Cyclone Remal, reports bdnews24.com.

Votes are being cast by EVM in Pirojpur’s Mathbaria, while the rest are using traditional paper ballots.

A total of 330 candidates are contesting the polls. Of them 119 are running for the post of chairman, 132 for the post of vice chairman and 79 for the post of woman vice chairman. There are 3,046,088 voters in these constituencies.

Ballot papers were sent to 179 centres in the Upazilas on Saturday, while the rest of the centres got them on Sunday.

The Upazilas going to the polls are Bagerhat’s Sharankhola, Morrelganj, and Mongla; Khulna’s Koyra, Paikgacha, and Dumuria; Barishal’s Gaurnadi and Agoiljhara; Patuakhali’s Sadar, Mirzaganj, and Dumki; Pirojpur’s Mathbaria, Bhola’s Tazumuddin and Lalmohan, Jhalakathi’s Rajapur and Kathalia, and Barguna’s Bamna and Pathorghata, Rangamati’s Baghaichari and Netrokona’s Khaliajuri.

The EC held polls in 466 Upazilas in four phases during the sixth upazila Parishad elections.

To allow for a ‘competitive’ election, the ruling party Awami League did not nominate any candidates or allow their party symbol to be used by any of those running. Hence, Awami League leaders vying for the Upazila posts are running as independent candidates.

The BNP has been adamant about boycotting the Upazila polls, as it did the national election. However, their members are contesting the election as independent candidates in different upazilas. Many of them have since been expelled for going against the party’s decision.

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