The fifth phase of the Union Parishad (UP) elections has begun, against the backdrop of deadly violence during electioneering over the last couple of weeks. Voting in 717 unions began at 8:00am today and will continue till 4:00pm without any break, agencies report.
Out of the 717 unions have gone to polls today, AL chairman nominees have been elected uncontested in 41 unions. The BNP could not field candidates at around 100 unions, according to EC statistics.
At least 20 people have been killed in poll-related violence since May 9 across the country, sparking panic among voters.
Polls to around 725 UPs were held in the first phase, 639 UPs in second, 615 UPs in third and 703 UPs in fourth phase on March 22 and 31, April 23 and May 8. A total of 724 unions will go to polls on June 4 in the sixth and final phase.
Despite the violence and irregularities, no significant measures have been taken either by the Election Commission or the political parties to check them.
Meanwhile, Voting at a polling centre in Kesharpar union of Senbagh upazila was suspended as miscreants snatched away 700 ballot papers moments before the start of the union parishad election.
Bidhan Chakraborty, presiding officer, said miscreants stormed the Kesharpar Government Primary School centre and snatched away the ballot papers, prompting the authorities to suspend polling activities.