The Financial Express

Second phase of municipal polls begins

| Updated: January 16, 2021 16:47:46

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Second phase of municipal polls begins

The second phase of voting has begun in 60 municipalities with over 2 million eligible voters across Bangladesh amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports bdnews24.com.

Despite the wintry weather, voters have queued up at various voting centres after the polls opened at 8 am Saturday.

Electronic voting machines or EVMs have been deployed in 29 municipalities while the rest are using traditional ballot papers.

Voters will elect new representatives to the posts of mayor, general councillor and reserved councillor in these municipalities.

The Election Commission says all the polls have been conducted in compliance with all the hygiene rules in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

The polls are being conducted in compliance with all the health and safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Election Commission said. Executive and judicial magistrates are also on the ground along with members of law enforcement agencies including BGB, RAB, police and Ansar to oversee the voting process.

Nine parties have fielded candidates for the mayoral posts in this phase of the election. But as always, the main contest will be between the candidates of the ruling Awami League and the BNP.

Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party, Islami Andolan Bangladesh, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Nationalist Democratic Movement, JaSad, National People's Party and the Liberal Democratic Party are participating in the election.

Conflicts and deaths have also occurred in some municipalities during the run-off election campaign due to the position of the rebel candidates and the conflict between the councillor candidates.

Although the first round of voting on Dec 28 was largely peaceful, there was a lot of tension in some areas ahead of the second phase amid conflicts involving rebel candidates and a few councillor candidates during the election campaign.

There have also been a few reported incidents of obstruction and violence in Faridpur, Jhenidah and Chattogram.

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