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Voting in the second phase election to 60 municipalities is going on, reports news agency UNB.

Balloting started around 8am on Saturday and will continue until 4pm without any break.

Two major political parties - Bangladesh Awami League and BNP participated in the most of the election areas.

Electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in 29 municipalities while traditional ballot papers will be used in the remaining areas.

The ballot papers were sent to the polling stations on Saturday morning and the EVMs were sent to the election areas on Friday.

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AL candidates are running for the mayoral posts in all municipalities but BNP-backed contestants are vying for the post in 55 municipalities.

Jatiya Party has backed mayoral candidates in 11-12 municipalities.

Three Awami League's mayoral candidates - Golam Hasnain in Bhangura of Pabna, Habibur Rahman Maleque in Pirojpur and Hasina Gazi in Tarabo of Narayanganj - have already been elected unopposed.

Alongside Bhangura, Pirojpur and Rupganj, there is no BNP mayoral candidate in two other municipalities - Belkuchi of Sirajgani, Mohonganj of Netrakona.

The polls to only the mayoral posts are being held with the use of election symbols of political parties, while election to the councillors posts and reserved seats in non-partisan manner.

A total of 216 mayoral candidates are running in 60 municipalities, while 724 women contestants are in the race for reserved seats and 2,234 contenders are contesting for councillor posts.

Some 2.2 million people are expected to exercise their franchise.

In Bagerhat, voting in Mongla Port municipality began around 8am.

The voters are casingt their votes using EVM for the first time.

Bagerhat district election officer and returning officer Farazi Benazir Ahmed said voting in the municipality is going on peacefully amid s tight security.

In Faridpur, voting in Boalmari municipality is underway amid festive mood.

A long queue of female voters was seen at Boalmari Government Girls High School, Solna Model Primary School and Sutashi Primary School polling centers around 8:30 am.

Returning officer Mohammad Habibur Rahman said voting is going on in a peaceful manner.

On 22 December, the election commission announced the second phase election schedule for 61 municipalities, but polls to Syedpur municipality in Nilphamari was postponed following the death of a mayoral candidate.

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The 60 municipalities include Nageshwari in Kurigram, Kakanhat, Arani and Bhabaniganj in Rajshahi, Birampur, Dinajpur and Birganj in Dinajpur, Gaibandha and Sundarganj in Gaibandha, Naldangha, Gurudaspur and Gopalpur in Natore, Nazirpur in Naogaon, Sherpur, Santahar and Sariakandi in Bagura, Iswardi, Bangura, Faridpur, Santhia and Sujanagar in Pabna, and Ullapara, Belkuchi, Siranjganj, Raiganj and Kazipur in Sirajganj.

The municipalities also include Kushtia, Beramara, Kumarkhali and Mirpur in Kushtia, Gagni in Meherpur, Shailkupa in Jhenaidah, Mongla port in Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Shariatpur, Magura, Boalmari in Faridpur, Tarabo in Narayanganj, Savar in Dhaka, Dhanbari in Tangail, Fulbaria and Muktagacha in Mymensingh, Mohonaganj and Kendua in Netrakona, Kishoreganj and Kuliarchar in Kishoreganj, Monohardi in Narsingdi.The rest municipalities are Chhatak, Sunamganj and Jagannathpur in Sunamganj, Madhabpur and Nabiganj in Habiganj, Kulaura and Kamalganj in Moulvibazar, Chandina in Cumilla, Basurhar in Noakhali, Sandwip in Chattogram, Khagrachhari, and Lama in Badarban.

The first phase election to 24 municipalities was held on 28 December, while the third phase election to 64 municipalities will be held 30 January and the fourth phase polls to 56 municipalities on 14 February next.

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