The apathy of voters during the recently held Dhaka city elections is not good for democracy, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said yesterday.
“We’ll assess and analyse the election after Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returns from abroad,” Quader, also AL general secretary, told reporters at the secretariat.
Describing the full use of electronic voting machines in the polls as “a new experience”, he said some mistakes were there but many found it easier and simpler.
“It’s a matter of concern for us … we expected more votes in our favour. Considering the voters of Awami League, the vote percentage was low,” he explained.
He said the negative campaign against the EVM and the ruling party was the main reasons behind the low voter turnout.
“However, it was a good election. In future, political parties will play a role in mobilising public opinion by learning from these mistakes,” Quader said.
About BNP’s rejection of the city polls, the minister said, “Despite its messy organisational condition without a leader, it has done well … Seriously, they fared well!”
Quader termed the attacks on journalists during the city polls “isolated incidents” but said it should not have happened.
“I don’t know where the reporters were attacked. I’ll keep an eye open so that such incidents don’t occur in future. There were no major clashes during the elections,” he added.
About the allegation that many councillors who were elected have cases against them and were involved in running casino business, the minister said, “Whoever is elected by people’s votes becomes a public representative and I can’t ignore what people want.”
BNP’s mayor candidates for Dhaka south and north city corporations lost to their AL rivals.