The Election Commission, or EC, has suspended voting in the local government election to Cumilla’s Titas Upazila over irregularities, the EC’s Joint Secretary (Public Relations) SM Asaduzzaman said on Sunday.
Polls to 107 Upazilas in the fourth phase of the staggered election opened at 8am on Sunday. Two hours into the elections, gunshots were fired in an altercation between supporters of Awami League candidate Shahinur Islam alias Sohel Sikder and Awami League rebel Parves Sarkar using the ‘pineapple’ symbol at the voting centre in Ziarkandi Government Primary School.
Police and Rapid Action Battalion personnel later brought the situation under control using tear gas. But despite the efforts of law enforcers, the polls could not be resumed, said Mohammed Moniruzzaman, an assistant presiding officer.
Polling at the Bhitikandi Government Primary School, Daskandi Government Primary School and Bandarampur Government Primary School centres were also suspended over reports of ballot-box stuffing overnight, attempts to seize voting centres and violence.
“It is no longer possible to conduct a fair election due to irregularities at voting centres. The Upazila polls are suspended until further notice,” the EC said in a note to returning officers.