• Monday, Oct 26, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:58 am

CEC: No irregularities in the 2 by-elections

  • Published at 07:46 pm October 17th, 2020
Dhaka 5 by-polls
A polling officer applies indelible ink on the finger of a voter at a polling booth during the Dhaka 5 by-polls. The photo was taken at Poradgar Mannan Government Primary School centre in Jatrabari on Saturday, October 17, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

The low turnout of voters can be attributed to an array of reasons ranging from Covid-19 scare to voters not considering this election significant enough, said the chief election commissioner

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda has claimed that the by-elections to the Dhaka-5 and Naogaon-6 constituencies have taken place without any difficulty or irregularity.

“We did not get any complaints,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters at the Election Commission in Agargaon on Saturday just before the end of voting in the by-elections to the two constituencies, reports Bangla Tribune.

In response to allegations of voters being barred from entering Dhaka-5 constituency and snatching of ID cards, he said: "We do not have any report of ID cards being taken away. There are no reports of any violent incidents either. I got news of a chase and counter-chase outside one centre only, which was immediately brought under control.

Low turnout of voters

“In my perception, there are many reasons behind the low turnout of voters. There was no chance for a change of government with those who would be elected through the polls,” he said.

The CEC further said the candidates and the voters might not have been interested as the MPs would be elected for a partial tenure – only two or two and a half years. 

The voters might be less interested to vote in such by-elections held in particular areas unlike the countrywide general election, he added.

Besides, he said, people were afraid of going to the voting booths amid the Covid-19 panic, reports UNB.  

“There is also the matter of the coronavirus and people are scared. People don’t want to go to such congested places,” he went on.

About health protection measures at the polling stations amid Covid-19, Nurul Huda said the Election Commission had taken all sorts of sanitization and protection measures in the stations for the by-polls. 

“We’ve taken all protective measures. There was instruction for going to the polling stations wearing masks. Hand wash and sanitization facilities were in place there,” he said.

“The fingerprint area of the EVM was repeatedly disinfected. All steps were taken to hold the election in accordance with hygiene rules.”

When asked why EVM had been chosen despite its having more risk of contamination than a regular ballot, KM Nurul Huda said: "We had already decided to use EVMs instead of ballots because we feel comfortable voting through EVMs instead of ballots. Moreover, there is no reluctance among the voters over the EVMs now.”

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