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Dhaka Tribune

CEC: Voter turnout in 2nd phase of upazila polls likely over 30%

  • Accurate information may be received on Wednesday, says CEC
  • 'Election boycott by a major political party could be a reason behind the low voter turnout'
Update : 21 May 2024, 06:48 PM

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on Tuesday said the voter turnout in the second phase of the sixth Upazila Parishad polls is likely to be over 30%.

He said the voting in the second phase of upazila election was held peacefully.

The CEC said this while briefing the journalists at the EC office after the voting ended at 4pm.

Four other election commissioners were with the CEC at that time.

Kazi Habibul Awal said that the voting was held in 156 upazilas in the second phase. The electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used at 24 upazilas, while the traditional ballot papers in the rest of the upazilas.The voting, which began at 8am ended at 4pm.

There was no incident of violence during the elections. There were casualties in a couple of incidents. No significant violence was reported anywhere. The election was held peacefully, claimed the CEC.

“The rate of voter turnout in the elections that we have so far could be more than 30%. But accurate information may be received on Wednesday.”

“I have heard that some media workers have also been injured. When they dared to take pictures, they might have been assaulted. We haven't got the exact information yet. As many as 33 people were injured in the clash. Besides, a man was injured critically in a clash on Monday night.”

Stating that action has been taken in the irregularities in the elections, the CEC said that intervention has been done where there had been irregularities and attempts to rig the vote.

A total of 25 people have been arrested. Besides, 10 people were sentenced to immediate imprisonment for casting fake votes. Two deaths were reported, but not because of the polling-related incident, they died of illness, said Habibul Awal.

When answering regarding voter turnout in the polls, he said that 30% voter turnout is not very encouraging one of the main reasons could be that one of the major political parties in the country has publicly announced boycotts and discouraged people from voting.

 “In any democratic system, such attempts can be made. However, there is no crisis with our polling system. The crisis is in politics.”

“I think if politics flows in a more healthy way, the problem of low voter turnout may be overcome in the future," said the CEC. 

He hopes that the political crisis in the future will be overcome and voters will be encouraged to exercise their voting rights. 

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