• Friday, Feb 21, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:57 pm

Minute by minute: Voting ends in 3 cities amid boycotts

Mujibur Rahman Sarwar
BNP candidate for Barisal 5 constituency Mujibur Rahman Sarwar Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

With the 11th national election on the horizon, these three city corporation polls in Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet are crucial contests for all parties

4:00pm-  Voting ends in Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet city corporations elections.

2:35pm, Sylhet- Independent candidate Ehsanul Mahbub Zubair briefs the media at his main election camp in Electric Supply area.

He says: “Awami League-backed mayor candidate’s [Kamran] supporters kicked out polling agents from at least 50 centres. I have names of 21 centres which were captured by them. I will file an official complaint.”

“I will not boycott election, but I will submit a written demand seeking re-election in these centres.”   

2:22pm, Barisal- Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) candidate Abul Kalam Azad also boycotts election, alleging vote manipulation.

2:00pm, Rajshahi- BNP candidate Mohammad Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul denies to cast his vote. 

While staging a demonstration at Islamia Degree College centre, he claims that ballots are being stuffed.

"20% voters have not come to the centres. I will not vote. This is not going to be counted as a fair election."

BNP’s mayoral candidate for Rajshahi City Corporation, Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul refuses to cast his vote and stages a demonstration at Islamia Degree College centre on Monday | Rajib Dhar/ Dhaka Tribune

1:45pm, Sylhet- Returning Office’s Information Officer Proloy Kumar Shaha tells the Dhaka Tribune: ”BNP candidate Ariful submitted a complaint to Election Returning Officer Alemuzzaman asking him to suspend polling in all 134 centres. 

“He also demanded that new election be held.”

1:28pm,  Candidates of BNP, Islami Andolon, Socialist Party of Bangladesh’s (SPB) and Jatiya Party meet Returning Officer Mojibur Rahman at his office with the demand of suspending the polls.

Mojibur Rahman says: “Situation is under control now. There is no possibility of cancelling the polls.”

1:10pm, Rajshahi- A long line of voters is seen at the Khademul Islam Government Primary School centre.

Presiding officer Azad Masud says: “The security has been increase to check the voters waiting in the long queue as we got information that some of the voters are entering the centre with hidden cameras.”

12:50pm, Rajshahi- BNP candidate Mohammad Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul alleges that Awami League activists are barring voters to enter voting centers. 

He says: “Fare election is not taking place.”

On the other hand, Awami League Candidate AHM Khairuzzaman Liton claims the election to be fair and peaceful.

Female voters seen standing in line outside a polling centre in Rajshahi on July 30, 2018 | Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

12:33pm, Barisal-  Iqbal Hossain Taposh, who has been expelled by Jatiya Party (JP), demands that the election be cancelled.

12:23pm, Barisal- Socialist Party of Bangladesh’s (SPB) mayoral candidate Manisha Chakraborty demands that the election be cancelled.

12:09pm, Barisal- BNP mayoral candidate Sarwar boycotts election.

12:00pm, Barisal- Authorities suspend voting at Syeda Mazidunnesa Secondary School's male centre, amid allegations of vote rigging.

Presiding Officer Sanjay Kumar confirms the matter to the Dhaka Tribune.

11:45am, Barisal- Islami Andolon mayor candidate Obaidur Rahman Mahbub boycotts election.

10:50am, Sylhet- Finance Minister AMA Muhith cast his vote at Durga Kumar Government Primary School. 

He is accompanied by his brother, son and nephew. 

Muhith tells the reporters: “I gave my vote to Awami League backed candidate Kamran but I did not cast my vote for running female councilor Bivarani De Babli as she is not right person.”   

Earlier, a helicopter carrying him landed at Sylhet stadium around 10:30am. Later, he arrived at the polling centre by rickshaw.

10:30am, Rajshahi- Presiding Officer Hatem Ali says: “A BNP agent at the Girls Guide Association was given warning after Ansar member Firoza complained as the agent was frequently going out of the centre.”

10:00am, Sylhet- Voters at Shahjalal Jameya Islamia Kamil Madrasa claim that voting was halted for 15 minutes in the centre.

Polling officer Jamil Ahmed says: “Voting was not stopped but there was some chaos outside the booth.”

Socialist Party of Bangladesh’s Barisal city mayoral candidate Manisha Chakraborty | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

09:30am, Barisal- Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal’s mayoral candidate Manisha Chakraborty alleges that she was harassed by Awami League men at Sadar Girls High School polling center in the morning.

Talking to the media, Manisha said: “I saw them [Awami League men] stuffing ballots at the polling centre. They harassed me twice when I protested against the matter.”

She alleged that the presiding officer of the center and law enforcers did not bar the Awami League men from stuffing ballot.

08:50am, Sylhet- Awami League-backed Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran cast his vote at Government Pilot High School.

Refuting BNP candidate’s claim, he says: “The election is going on in a peaceful environment and the support the local voters showed me, I am confident about my victory. 

“However, I am ready to accept any results.”   

BNP-backed candidate Ariful Haque Chowdhury casting vote | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

08:30am, Sylhet- BNP-backed candidate Ariful claims: “I have information that a number of ballot boxes, filled with sealed ballot papers, were kept at the presiding officer’s almirah last night [12:09pm, Barisal- BNP mayoral candidate Sarwar boycotts election. Sunday].   

08:30am, Barisal- Barishal BNP mayoral candidate Mujibur Rahman Sarwar cast his vote at Sayeda Mazedunnesa Secondary School  in west Kawniya.

He alleges that 50 of his election agents have been forced out polling centers after the voting began. 

“Police and Awami League men are barring my voters from casting votes,” he adds.

Witnesses claim that some people, wearing boat symbol badges, entered some booths of the centre after Sarwar left and and started stuffing the ballots. 

Presiding Office Sanjay Ratna says: “Nothing such has come to my notice.”

A man cast vote at a polling centre in Sylhet on July 30, 2018 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

08:15am, Barisal- Socialist Party of Bangladesh's mayoral candidate Manisha Chakraborty cast her vote at Oxford Mission High School.

08:10am, Rajshahi- Awami League candidate for city corporation election AHM Khairuzzaman Liton cast his vote at at Satellite Town High School.  

Liton says: “I hope that the public will elect me. Whatever their decision is, I will accept it.

“I request the law enforcers to ensure peaceful voting environment.”

08:05am, Barisal- Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah, Awami League’s mayoral candidate, says he is confident about winning the mayoral race.

Barisal Awami League mayoral candidate Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah casting his vote at Barisal College polling centre on July 30, 2018 | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

“I will accept the result, whatever it is,” he tells the reporters after casting his vote at Barisal College polling centre.

He says: “The atmosphere is peaceful so far. Voters are coming to the centres in a joyous mood.”

Serniabat says he expects voting will be held in a fair manner and requested all voters to exercise their franchise.

08:05am, Sylhet- BNP-backed candidate Ariful Haque Chowdhury cast his vote at Raynagar Government Primary School around 8:25am. 

8:00am- Elections to  Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet city corporations begin.