Voters at 717 unions exercised their franchise on Saturday in the polls, which started on 8am and ended on 4pm.

Four hours into the poll, Election Commissioner Abu Hafiz said that that apart from some sporadic incidents the situation was 'much better' than the last four phases.

Around 30,000 candidates are contesting the more than 3,000 posts of union council chairperson, general and reserved members on Saturday.

Commissioner Hafiz said that irregularities have been reported from Noakhali, Jamalpur, Brahmanbarhia, Thakurgaon, Barisal, Comilla and Chittagong.

"Reports of the death of a senior citizen has come in from a centre in Noakhali's Begumganj during a stampede when chaos broke out there," he told

Hafiz said that they are constantly monitoring the situation and that the polls are being held smoothly apart from clashes at some places.

"It is surely better than in the previous four phases."

On allegations of booth-capturing, Hafiz said that they are taking immediate measures the moment such incidents are reported.

"These allegations are common in polls at grass roots. This time it's more because the polls are on party lines and renegades are challenging regular party aspirants . The EC has taken adequate steps to ensure fair polls," he said.

Source: Bangladesh's First Internet Newspaper