The country's election commission said it hoped the local polls will be a model for the general elections. But Bangladesh's two main parties condemned the timing of the local elections, saying that the general elections should have gone first. Announced several times, the national poll was postponed till this December.
Army and police have been deployed in the streets and near polling stations in the four cities voting—Sylht, Khulna, Borsial and Rajshahi—where 1.2 million voters are called to cast their ballot. So far no incidents have been reported.
Officially candidates should be “independent” but each is backed more or less directly by a political party.
In theory at least the outcome should show where the parties stand ahead of the upcoming general elections and who might win.
The two main parties have come out against today’s election. The Awami League said free and fair elections could not be held under a state of emergency, while the Bangladesh Nationalist Party called for protests.