18.5pc votes cast on average till 12:10pm across the country: EC

Siraj Mia Memorial Model School in Badda of the capital. This is under Dhaka-11 constituency.Nurul Amin

Election commission secretary Md Jahangir Alam has said 18 per cent of votes have been cast till 12:10pm on an average across the country.

Speaking to newsmen, he said they have come to know this statistics from different sources.

Some 17 per cent of votes have been cast in Dhaka division during the period. 20 per cent of votes in Chattogram, 18 per cent in Sylhet, 22 per cent in Barishal, 21 per cent in Khulna, 17 per Rajshahi and 20 per cent of votes in Mymensingh have been cast.

However, the election commission secretary has not provided the information of Rangpur. The sources said 16 per cent of votes have been cast till 12:00pm.

Casting of votes for the 12th parliamentary election begins at 8:00am and will continue till 4:00pm.

According to reports sent by Prothom Alo staff correspondents and correspondents from different districts, the presence of voters was less in some places in the morning while comparatively higher in some places.

A little over 87 per cent of votes were cast in the ninth parliamentary election in 2008.

BNP boycotted the 10th parliamentary election in 2014. In that election, 153 candidates of Awami League were elected unopposed.

EC said a little over 40 per cent votes were cast in the remaining seats in that election.

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All major political parties joined the election in the 11th parliamentary election in 2018. There was a huge controversy over the election. A little over 80 votes were cast in that election, according to the election commission.

After casting his vote in the 12th parliamentary election at the capital’s Habibullah Bahar College in the morning, chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal said, "Casting vote has started just now. Hope the presence of voters will increase. I have inquired about each voting centre and votes are being cast in little amounts. 25 votes have been cast in some centres while 40 votes in some centres."

Replying to a query on whether hartal and violence would affect the polls, the CEC said he cannot say anything certain as the election commission has just conducted the voting. He will not comment on the reaction of the voters.