By-polls to Ershad’s seat underway
By-election to Rangpur-3 constituency began at 9am on Saturday and will continue till 5pm without any break.
The constituency, which fell vacant after the death of Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad, has 442,072 voters – 221,310 men and 220,762 women.
The Election Commission (EC) is trying its best to hold a smooth balloting using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
A close contest is being expected among Jatiya Party’s Rahgir Al Mahi alias Saad Ershad, BNP’s Rita Rahman and independent candidate Hossain Mokbul Shahriar Asif.
The other contestants are – NPP’s Shafiul Alam (mango), Gano Front’s Kazi M Shahidullah Bayazid (fish) and Khelafat Majlish’s Towhidur Rahman Mandal (wall clock).
The ruling Awami League withdrew its candidate in support of the Jatiya Party contestant.
The EC has identified 49 out of the total 175 polling centres as important ones.
A four-tier security measure was taken. Some 18 platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh, 20 teams of Rapid Action Battalion, 30,00 police and Ansar members, 18 executive magistrates and four judicial magistrates will be in the field to maintain law and order.
Rangpur Regional Election Officer and Returning Officer of the by-election GM Sahatab Uddin said a total of 3,244 election officials, including 175 presiding officers, 1,023 assistant presiding officers and 2,046 polling officers, will conduct the voting.
The EC announced schedule for the by-polls on September 1 after the death of military dictator HM Ershad on July 14.