DHAKA, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Zayeda Khatun, an independent candidate, has triumphed in the mayoral race of the Gazipur municipal polls in Bangladesh on Friday.
Khatun bagged 238,934 votes while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) party's candidate Azmat Ullah Khan got 222,737 in Thursday's close-fought election.
Faridul Islam, a returning officer, announced poll results Friday saying "The 72-year-old female independent candidate beat her nearest AL's candidate Azmat Ullah Khan."
The counting of the votes cast in the city corporation of Gazipur, 40 km north of the capital Dhaka, began Thursday shortly after the polling ended at 4:00 p.m. local time (1000 GMT).
The polls were conducted smoothly in a peaceful and festive manner, with a 48.75 percent voter turnout reportedly.
No major unpleasant incident was reported from any center of Gazipur.
As part of three-tier security measures, tens of thousands of members of different law enforcement agencies have been deployed to maintain the law and order situation.
The country's major parties took the municipal polls as a prestige issue. The polls were seen as a popularity test for Prime Minister Hasina ahead of general elections slated to be held early next year.
According to Returning Officer's office, a total of 335 candidates, including eight for mayoral posts, 248 for councilor posts, and 79 for reserved posts for women, are vying in the polls.
Hasina's AL party now eyes the fourth consecutive victory in the election slated for early 2024.