DHAKA, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Voting for parliamentary by-elections in Bangladesh to six vacated seats ended peacefully Thursday.
The polling began at 8:00 a.m. (local time) amid tight security and ended at 4 p.m. Election officials started counting ballots immediately after the polling was over.
The by-elections were held in northwestern Kurigram-2, Bogra-6, Bogra-7, Rangpur-3, Rangpur-6 and northeastern Kishoreganj-6 constituencies vacated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, opposition leader Khaleda Zia and President Zillur Rahman.
Hasina, Khaleda and Ershad were elected from three seats each in parliament elections held on Dec. 29 last year. Under the Bangladesh Constitution a member of parliament can retain only one seat and vacate additional seats before taking the oath.
Zillur Rahman was elected president on Feb. 11 uncontested. According to law, Bangladeshi president can't be am MP at the same time. So he vacated a seat he won in Kishoreganj-6 for by-election.
There is supposed to be seven seats for by-elections, since the by-election for one seat vacated by Hasina was already won by an Awami League leader uncontested, so there were only 6 seats for by-elections.
Large numbers of police and Rapid Action Battalion personnel have been deployed in the election areas to maintain law and order.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League-led alliance won landslide victory in the Dec. 29 elections and formed the government on Jan. 6 this year.
Thursday's by-election results will not make any difference to the present power structure.