The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday suspended the by-election at Gainbandha-5 parliamentary seat over widespread allegations of vote rigging and voter intimidation, said Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal.

"The Gaibandha-5 by-election has gone out of control. We have seen people illegally entering the booths designated for voting inside the polling centers and casting ballots with my own eyes. In some places, voters were forced to cast ballots for particular candidates," the said the CEC.

He, however, did not name any candidate for the wrongdoing.

He said they suspended the election after seeing widespread "malpractices."

He said voting in 51 polling centres out of 145 were postponed in phases after the voting began at 8:00 am, and by 12:30 pm it was evident that massive irregularities took place.

Gaibandha-5 constituencies consist of 10 unions of Saghata upazila and 7 unions of Phulchhari upazila.

Mahmud Hasan Ripon (Awami League), AHM Golam Shahid Ranju (Jatiya Party), Advocate Jahangir Alam (Independent ), Nahiduzzaman Nishad (Independent) and Syed Mahbubur Rahman (Independent) are contesting in the election.

There are 3 lakh 39 thousand 743 voters.

Former Member of Parliament and Deputy Speaker of the 11th National Parliament Fazle Rabbi Mia passed away on July 23, the Gaibandha-5 seat fell vacant on that date.

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