AL candidates, rebels dominate 3rd phase municipal polls

Dhaka, Jan 30 — Candidates of the ruling Awami League have been unofficially elected from the majority of the municipalities that went to polls on Saturday in the third phase, according to partial results. Unofficial results started coming in hours after voting ended amid reports of clashes, allegations of vote-rigging, polling centre capture, and boycotts.
Voting in 62 municipalities began at 8 am and ended at 4 pm without any break in most –places.
According to results received until 11 pm, Awami League candidates won in Naogaon’s Dhamoirhat, Bhola’s Borhanuddin and Daulatkhan, Barguna, Cumilla’s Chauddagram and Barura, Chuadanga’s Darshana, Moulvibazar, Sherpur’s Nokla and Nalitabari, Jhenaidah’s Harinakundu, Pirojpur’s Swarupkathi, Feni, Mymensingh’s Bhaluka, Barishal’s Gournadi, Chandpur’s Hajiganj, Shariatpur’s Naria, and Bogura’s Shibganj and Nandigram.
On the other hand, a number of renegade candidates from the Awami League also managed to win. Unofficial results showed renegade candidates victorious in Shariatpur’s Zajira and Bhedorganj, Bogura’s Dhunot, Sylhet’s Golapganj and Zakiganj, Mymensingh’s Gouripur and Ishwarganj and Jhenaidah’s Kotchandpur.
Candidates backed by the BNP also won in a few municipalities. According to unofficial results, BNP candidates won in Bogura’s Gabtoli and Kahalu.
Polls violence, election boycott
In Lakshmipur, three people were shot and 20 others were injured in Lakshmipur’s Ramganj municipality polls violence.
The incident took place over the domination of a polling centre, and balloting was suspended at the centre for half an hour.
In Natore, BNP candidate Taizul Islam boycotted the election in Natore’s Singra municipality alleging irregularities including ballot stuffing.
“Awami League-backed agents publicly stuffed ballots, and the BNP ones were driven out from several polling centres,” Taizul said.
In Satkhira, BNP-backed candidate Sheikh Sharifuzzaman and independent candidate Nargis Sultana boycotted the election in Satkhira’s Kolaroa municipality polls, alleging vote-rigging.
They also said their agents were not allowed to enter any of the polling centres.
In Naogaon, at least three SATV journalists came under attack as they were covering alleged incidents of ballot stuffing, vote-rigging, and polling centre domination by ruling party men in Naogaon.
In Bogura, BNP’s mayoral candidate in Bogura’s Shibganj municipality Motiar Rahman Motin boycotted the election, alleging that the ruling party men occupied the polling centres and physically assaulted his agents.
3rd phase municipal polls
The 62 municipalities that went to polls today include Ulipur in Kurigram, Jaldhaka in Nilphamari, Gobindaganj in Gaibandha, Hakimpur in Dinajpur, Rohanpur in Chapainawabganj, Mundumala and Keshorhat in Rajshahi, Shibganj, Nandigram, Dhanut, Gabtoli and Kahalu in Bogura, Naogaon and Dhamoirhat in Naogaon, Singra in Natore and Pabna.
The municipalities also include Darshana in Chuadanga, Kotchadpur and Harinakundu in Jhenaidah, Manirampur in Jashore, Paikgacha in Khulna, Morelganj in Bagerhat, Kalaroa in Satkhira, Barguna and Patharghata in Barguna, Borhanuddin and Daulatkhan in Bhola Nalchity in Jhalokathi, Swarupkathi in Pirojpur, Gournadi and Mehendiganj in Barishal.
The other municipalities include Naria, Bhedarganj and Jajira in Shariatpur, Tungipara in Gopalganj, Kalia and Narail in Narail, Pangsha in Rajbari, Munshiganj, Madhupur, Tangail, Bhuapur, Sakhipur and Mirzapur in Tangail, Iswarganj, Bhaluka, Gouripur and Nakla and Nalitabari in Sherpur, Sarishabari in Jamalpur, Durgapur in Netrakona and Katiadi in Kishoreganj.
The other municipalities are Golapganj and Jakiganj in Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Hajiganj in Chandpur, Barua, Chauddagram and Feni, Hatia and Chowmuhani in Noakhali and Ramganj in Lakshmipur.
The first and second phases of the municipal elections to 24 municipalities and 60 municipalities were held on December 28 and January 16. – UNB