Voting has begun in 14 upazila parishads and four municipalities of different districts across the country under the newly formed Election Commission.
The voting started at 8am Monday and will continue till 4pm.
The three upazilas where voters are casting their ballots to elect chairmen, vice-chairmen and female vice-chairpersons are Osmaninagar of Sylhet, Guimara of Khagrachhari, and Jagannathpur of Sunamganj.
By-polls are taking place in the following upazilas: Banaripara and Gournadi upazilas of Barisal, Adarsha sadar upazila of Comilla, Sujanagar upazila of Pabna, Hossainpur of Kishoreganj, Boraigram of Natore, Jaldhaka of Nilphamari, Kalaroya of Satkhira, Morrelganj of Bagerhat, Rangabali of Patuakhali, and Ishwardi of Pabna.
The four municipalities are Golachipa of Patuakhali, Sakhipur of Tangail, Arani of Rajshahi, and Sherpur of Sherpur.
Elections in four other upazilas – Kurigram sadar, Kathalia of Jhalakathi, Comilla sadar (south) and Chauddagram upazilas – will not be held as candidates there have already been elected uncontested.
Election Commission Secretary Mohammed Abdullah on Sunday told the press that they had made all the necessary preparations to hold the elections in a fair and free manner.
He added that they had instructed electoral officials to remain alert so none could demonstrate high-handedness against laws during the polls.
“The previous EC drew a lot of flak from all strata. The new EC is therefore much more careful about holding the elections in a fair and peaceful manner, as part of which we have held several meetings with officials concerned,” Abdullah added.
Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder said: “The reputation of the new EC largely depends on the elections.”
When asked about BNP’s allegations that the EC was taking no heed of its complaints about electoral irregularities, Abdullah said: “It is not true that we are not taking any complaint into consideration. The complaints should be based on concrete evidence, without which we cannot go for action.
“There will be executive magistrates in all the constituencies where the elections are taking place. They will take action if there is any anomaly.”