NARAYANGANJ, Dec 22, 2016 (BSS) - Counting of votes is underway after the suburban river port town here witnessed peaceful polling throughout the day to elect a mayor and councilors in the second such elections of Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC).
"The polls were held peacefully which was possible due to the cooperation of mainly the candidates and their supporters . . . Thanks to all," Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed told journalists at a press briefing at his election commission secretariat here.
The CSE said the Election Commission earlier took all necessary measures to ensure a credible NCC polls ensuring intensified security vigil. "The election was held without any untoward incident," he said.
Ahmed said he expect that all contenders and their supporters would accept the polls results as the counting was u underway.
Secretary at the Election Commission Secretariat Mohammad Abdullah told the news agency that the turnout indicated around 70 percent voters cast their votes in the NCC polls while two major candidates -- Awami League backed incumbent mayor Ivy Rahman and BNP nominee Sakhawat Hossain Khan-- expressed satisfaction over the environment during the polls.
After the polling, Ivy said she was ready to accept result of the polls as it was held in a peaceful manner while Khan said no unpleasant situation occurred in the voting.
Democracy Watch, a private election observatory agency, said in a press release: "Law and order situation was good at the centers. Police, RAB, BGB personnel and magistrates were seen performing their duties".
A mobile team of the organization observed the vote casting in 20 centers among total of 174 centers.
Narayanganj police superintendent Mainul Haq said law enforcement agencies brought the town under a security blanket calling in elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and coastguard alongside police to enforce a sharp vigil during the polling.
"No untoward incident took place in the NCC areas during the election time," he added.
Talking to BSS, Narayanganj district returning officer Nuruzzanman Talukder said the NCC poll is held with the party symbols, where a total of 4, 74,931 voters would elect a mayor and 36 councillors in the city's 27 wards.
This was second election since the Narayanganj municipality was upgraded to a city corporation but first on party basis where the major parties nominated their candidates with symbols.
Voting started at 8am and continued till 4pm without any break.
A total of 191 candidates are contesting for 37 posts and of them seven contenders are for the mayoral post and 156 are contesting in 27 wards while 38 are for nine women reserved seats.
Seven mayoral candidates are contesting the polls with party symbols with Ivy having Awami League's "boat" and Khan having BNP's "sheaf of paddy"".
The other party candidates are Islami Oikya Jote-backed Mufti Ezharul Islam with "minar", Mahbubur Rahman Ismail of Bangladesh Biplobi Workers Party with "spade", Islami Andolon-backed Mufti Masum Billah with "hand fan", Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidate Kamal Pradhan with "umbrella" and Kalyan Party's Rashed Ferdous with "wrist watch".
The Kalyan Party and LDP candidates, however, announced their withdrawal from the race ahead of the polling.
During the election, 174 presiding officers, 1,304 assistant presiding officers and 2,608 poling officers performed their duties.
A total of 1462 observers are monitoring the NCC polls that gained mass people's attention both home and abroad.
Earlier, the first mayoral election of NCC was held on 30 October, 2011 where Ivy was elected first mayor of Narayanganj.
The vote counting began at all polling centres soon after the election was over.
The results of the polls were expected to be declared at the Narayanganj Club later this evening.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)