Voting begins in Bangladesh mayoral by-polls amid major opposition boycott

DHAKA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Voting began on Thursday for mayoral by-polls in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka amid major opposition party’s boycott.
A total of five candidates including Atiqul Islam of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League are vying for the mayorship in the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) while 116 for the councillor positions.
Apart from them, 45 female candidates are contesting for six councillor posts reserved for women.
Ex-PM Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party boycotted the elections, claiming that a free and fair election was not possible under the Hasina government.
The total number of voters in the by-polls is around 3.03 million and polling centres 1,286.
Starting from 8:00 a.m. local time, the voting will continue till 4:00 p.m. local time.
The mayoral post fell vacant following the death of Annisul Huq on Nov. 30, 2017. He had been elected mayor on April 28, 2015.  Enditem