The fourth phase election has ended with the same occurrences that happened in the earlier phases. Stray incidents of violence during this phase left one person dead and around a hundred injured across the country.
The polls were also marred by boycotts and allegations of irregularities throughout the day.
Voting began from 8am and continued till 4pm on Sunday. The counting then began afterwards. In the election, 217 mayoral candidates, 2,070 councillors and 618 candidates for reserve seats contested in 55 municipalities.
After the polls ended, Election Commission Secretary Humayun Kabir Khandaker told the media that the voting was fair and peaceful in the country and the atmosphere was good. He, however, blamed two rival candidates for the loss of life in a clash that occurred in Patiya upazila of Chattogram.
The EC secretary added, "Voting was stopped at four centers in Narsingdi, one in Sonaimuri of Noakhali and two in Damudya in Shariatpur. The situation in rest of the polling stations was peaceful."
Councillor candidate's brother shot dead
Abdul Mabud, 45, brother of councillor candidate Abdul Mannan, died of bullet injury at a hospital after getting shot during a clash that took place in ward 8 of Patiya municipality under Chattogram.
Besides, a young man named Mohan got shot in another clash between two mayoral candidates in Sonaimuri area of Noakhali. Four people were also injured there.
In Rajshahi, a Crude bomb exploded outside a polling centre in Naihati municipality of Rajshahi. Miscreants also vandalised the car of a mayoral candidate, and a journalist was injured.
Fifteen people were injured in a clash between supporters of two rival candidates in Lalmonirhat and Patgram municipality, while four people were severely injured in Kalihati area of Tangail.
Allegations of misconduct, irregularities
In Noakhali's Sonaimuri municipality, a commotion took place among the supporters of Awami League and BNP councillor candidates over allegations of vote rigging and a youth was arrested over casting fake votes.
Later, another voting centre in the same municipality was closed by the authorities.
Meanwhile, BNP and independent candidates in Barishal's Banaripara municipality alleged of being beaten and detained. They also claimed that their agents were expelled from the centres and the voting was rigged.
Besides, candidates of opposition parties from most municipalities alleged that the voting environment was chaotic and the election was not fair.
Many candidates boycott the polls
Following such allegations, a significant number of candidates boycotted the polls.
An independent mayoral candidate of Brahmanbaria's Akhaura, Shafiqul Islam Khan is among those who boycotted the election. He told the media, "There is no fair environment for voting. The ruling party men are forcing voters to cast seals on the boat symbol. The voters were even threatened with arrest for complaining."
In Bagerhat, BNP candidate Syed Niaz Hossain Shaibal boycotted the polls alleging that the BNP voters were not allowed to enter the polling centres to cast their votes.
Two other BNP mayoral candidates – Imam Hossain Patwari and Shahjahan Kabir from Faridganj in Chandpur and Jibannagar in Chuadanga respectively – also boycotted the polls.
Moreover, BNP candidates Shahed Ali Patu and Alamgir Hossain in Ramgati municipality of Lakshmipur, BNP nominee Ehsan Kufia from Kishoreganj's Bajitpur, and BNP candidate Mir Mohi Uddin in Alamdanga upazila of Chuadanga have boycotted the election.
Some of the other candidates who boycotted the polls are – BNP mayoral candidate Saeed Niaz Hossain Shaibal in Bagerhat, BNP candidate Isaac Ali from Baraigram of Natore, BNP candidate Mizanur Rahman of Mirkadim municipality of Munshiganj, independent mayoral candidate Ziaul Haque Mintu and BNP candidate Riaz Ahmed Mridha of Barishal's Banaripara.