Clashes spoil JS polls success
Several election monitoring orgainsations yesterday in preliminary findings said voters' turnout in upazila parishad polls was low and incidence of violence in polling centers overshadowed the bright achievements of the recently held national polls.
The Election Working Group, a non-partisan network of civil society organisation, in a press release said that in some upazila campaigns rules were violated by candidates and their supporters and incidence of violence inside and outside of polling centers led them to close early.
It, however, said in most polling centres officials provided a high sense of security for voters and they were able to get to the polling centres peacefully and without intimidation.
National Election Observation Council said its mobile observers across the country recorded low turnout of voters and higher presence of the ruling party activists at the polling stations.
It also observed that there was less enthusiasm among the voters in casting votes and it opined that the conduct of upazila election within an interval of 23 days after the parliamentary polls reduced the significance of the latter in the public eyes.
Bangladesh Human Rights Commission's report said 50 percent voters have exercised their rights to franchise in the upazila election.
The upazila election was held through various irregularities including clashes and violence among the rival workers and supporters of the candidates.
Taking control of vote centres, casting false votes and vote riggings marred the smooth and peaceful election environment, it said.
It said casting votes at some polling centres was suspended due to influences of the ruling party men. There was no spontaneous and festive mood in the election, it added.
Brotee said in a press release that the low turnout in upazila polls frustrated the successful holding of December 29 parliamentary elections.
It opines that from 55 to 60 percent voters have cast their votes in the election.
It attributed low turnout to some factors: the season of Boro plantation, After the thumping victory AL-led grand alliance gave less importance to this election and two polls were held within a short span of time.