Information Minister Hasan Mahmud today said longer public holidays, BNP’s publicity against electronic voting machines (EVMs) and their participation in city polls “as a form of movement” are the main reasons behind the poor voter turnout in the elections to two Dhaka city corporations.
“People left Dhaka for their villages after having a three-day holiday, BNP’s publicity against EVMs and their motivation behind joining city polls are the three reasons for which voter turnout was low,” he said while talking to reporters at the Secretariat.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Saturday said the voter turnout in the elections to the two Dhaka city corporations was below 30 percent.
The Information Minister said, “The city polls were more successful and peaceful than any elections in the past.”
Some newspapers published reports over peeping into the secret voting room as a big issue, said the minister adding, “It’s a matter of regret.”
This is not a big issue compared to the past, he added.
Asked about BNP’s hartal, the minister said, “There are no signs of hartal, people have rejected BNP and their hartal.”
Asked about the attacks on journalists on the election day, he said he heard that supporters of a BNP councillor candidate beat up journalists and that the police are looking into it.
Journalists should not be obstructed while performing their duties, he added.
Awami League mayoral candidates Atiqul Islam and Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh were unofficially declared as mayors of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) respectively on Saturday.