At least 111 Awami League rebels have become upazila chairmen, winning in one fourth of the constituencies in the four phases of the staggered upazila polls.
The one-sided election shunned by most opposition political parties paved the way for many AL rebels' win, election observers said.
“There could have been some problems within the Awami League about picking nominees. Also, many of those denied the party ticket might have thought this was a chance to prove their popularity,” Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik President Hafiz Uddin Khan told The Daily Star.
The phenomenon indicates that many deserving AL leaders were not picked by the party, analysts said.
Observers also pointed out that supporters of some of the parties that boycotted the local government election might have voted for the AL rebels and independents.
The role of many AL lawmakers had also been a key factor.
“In many cases, we have seen Awami League lawmakers covertly supporting the rebels. This could be a reason behind so many rebel wins,” Hafiz said.
AL nominees became chairmen in 308 upazilas, independents in seven, expelled BNP leaders in five, Jatiya Party leaders in three, Parbatya Chattogram Jana Samhati Samiti in three, PCJSS (MN Larma) in two and Jatiya Party (Manju) in one, according to The Daily Star analysis.
“We came to know from media reports that a number of lawmakers were seeking votes for some candidates who did not get the party ticket,” Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam said.
“We have also seen some of the lawmakers trying to campaign and we asked them to leave their constituencies immediately and not violate the polls code,” he added.
The Election Commission had asked at least 23 lawmakers, mostly from the AL, to leave their constituencies.
Four phases of the upazila election was held between March 10 and 31. Election in 480 of 492 upazilas is taking place in five phases this year. The last phase will be held on June 18.
The EC has the results from 458 upazilas. No polling was needed in 30 upazilas because chairmen, vice-chairmen and female vice-chairmen candidates were elected unopposed.
The result also shows that 108 chairman candidates had been elected unopposed. Only one of them is independent while the rest are from the AL.
The AL did not nominate anyone in five upazilas of Gopalganj. The positions were won by AL leaders, EC officials said.
The BNP, Left Democratic Alliance, Islami Andolan Bangladesh, Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan and Bangladesh Muslim League boycotted the polls, saying there was no prospect for a free and fair election.
The election was marred by poor voter turnout. At least 38 upazilas recorded less than 30 percent turnout and two upazilas less than 10 percent.
The turnout was 43.31 percent in the first phase, 41.25 percent in the second, 41.41 percent in the third and 36.50 percent in the fourth.