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4th phase UZ polls AL bags: 52, BNP: 23, Jamaat: 5

By UNB, DHAKA
25th-Mar-2014       
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Awami League favourites took an overall lead in the ongoing staggered upazila elections winning 52 more chairman posts in the fourth phase polls held on Sunday, taking their total tally to 167 and leaving behind its archrival BNP by 22.
The BNP loyalists won 23 chairman posts in Sunday elections.
The chairman candidates loyal to Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, the key ally of BNP, won in five upazilas while Jatiya Party of HM Ershad one, rebel candidates of both the Awami League and BNP two each, independent candidates two and JSS one.
The upazilas that the AL-supported chairman candidates took are : Bochaganj of Dinajpur, Bagmara of Rajshahi, Ishwardi and Faridpur of Pabna, Daulatpur of Kushtia, Jibannagar of Chuadanga, Keshabpur and Sadar of Jessore, Terokhada, Dacope, Rupsha, Fultala and Batiaghata of Khulna, Mollahat and Chitalmari of Bagerhat, Kalaroa of Satkhira, Golachipa, Sadar, Bauphal of Patuakhali, Agailjhara, Banaripara and Ujirpur of Barisal, Tajumuddin, Daulatkhan and Manpura of Bhola, Kathalia, Nalchhiti, Sadar and Rajapur of Jhalakati, Sadar and Mathbaria of Pirojpur, Bhuapur, Madhupur and Kalihati of Tangail, Haluaghat of Mymensingh, Itna, Katiadi and Mithamain of Kishoreganj.
 Nabiganj and Lakhai of Habiganj, Sylhet Sadar, Srimangal and Kamalganj of Moulvibazar, Nasirnagar of Brahmanbaria, Meghna of Comilla, Sonagazi and Fulgazi of Feni, Rangunia, Rauzan, Fatikchhari, Anwara and Boalkhali of Chittagong.
On the other hand, BNP-backed chairman contenders won in Pirganj of Thakurgaon, Phulbari of Dinajpur, Tanore of Rajshahi, Baraigram of Natore, Gabtali of Borga, Chouhali of Sirajganj, Harinakunda of Jhenidah, Narail Sadar, Betagi of Barguna, Dhamrai of Dhaka, Madan of Netrakona, Nagarpur of Tangail, Nalitabari of Sherpur, Shalla and Dharmapasha of Sunamganj, Kanaighat of Sylhet, Moulvibazar Sadar, Akhaura of Brahmanbaria, Barura of Comilla, Shaharasti of Chandpur, Begumganj of Noakhali, and Ramu and Kutubdia of Cox's Bazar.
The five Jamaat-backed contenders won in Panchbibi of Joypurhat and Zianagar of Pirojpur and Banshkhali and Satkania of Chittagong, and Naikhanchhari of Bandarban while the Jatiya Party-backed candidate in Tarail of Kishoreganj.
Meanwhile, BNP rebel candidates won the polls in Puthia of Rajshahi, Bhairab of Kishoreganj and AL rebel candidates in Mirzaganj of Patuakhali and Ajmiriganj of Habiganj.
Besides, the JSS favourite won in Zurachhari of Rangamati while independent candidates in Bhandaria of Pirojpur and Habiganj Sadar.
Meanwhile, the results of Dumki in Patuakhali, Gazaria in Munshiganj and Kaliakoir in Gazipur were not announced on Sunday.
The ruling party loyalists won a total of 115 chairman posts in the first three phases of the local body elections while that of BNP 122, Jamaat 28 and Jatiya Party two.
On Sunday, elections were held in 91 upazila parishads across 43 districts amid widespread violence that also led to the suspension of voting in 32 polling stations in several upazilas.
At least 11 chairman candidates, mostly BNP-backed ones, boycotted the elections in Bhola, Barisal, Chittagong, Pirojpur, Khulna and Jessore districts raising allegations of capturing polling stations and casting fake votes.
After Sunday's elections, Election Commissioner Mohammad Abdul Mobarak said they were happy with the overall election atmosphere barring some stray incidents.
"Though we tried our best to hold the elections peacefully, some stray and unwarranted incidents of violence took place that led to the suspension of voting in 32 polling stations," he told reporters.
A total of 1,186 candidates contested the fourth phase elections against 273 posts in the 91 upazilas. Of them, 389 were chairman candidates, 485 vice chairman contenders and 312 vice chairman candidates for the posts set aside for women.
The 91 upazilas have 13,859,278 voters, including 6,907,956 men and 6,951,322 women. There were 5,884 polling stations in the upazilas.
In the previous three phases, the Election Commission held elections in 293 other upazila parishads with 98 in the first phase, 114 in the second phase and 81 others in the third phase.

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