15-20pc votes cast in first 4 hrs: EC

Election commission (EC) secretary Md Jahangir AlamEC website

Some 15 to 20 per cent votes were cast in the first four hours, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm Wednesday, in the first phase of upazila parishad elections.

However, this  is not the final calculation, said election commission secretary Md Jahangir Alam to the media in the afternoon.

The EC secretary further said the voting in 139 upazilas began fairly from 8:00 am. The field level officials informed them about this. The rate of vote cast is different in different areas.

Jahangir Alam said it was not possible for them to inform the media the specific rate of vote cast. But an analysis of information they received, it could be said that the rate of vote cast until 12:00 pm was 15-20 per cent.

The specific per cent of votes cast will be available later, he added.

EC secretary Jahangir Alam also said no major untoward incident has been reported from any upazila. The law enforcement members took stern actions where some sporadic incidents took place.

Voting has been postponed at a centre in Khagrachhari while the presiding officer of a centre in Bogura was detained on allegations of his involvement with ballot stuffing, he added.

Responding to a question of a newsperson, the EC secretary blamed the cloudy sky, rain at different upazilas and consequent power outage in some char areas for low voter turnout than the expected level.

He said this was the picture until 12:00 pm. Generally the vote casting rate increases after 2:00 pm as many people go to the polling centres after returning from their work, Jahangir added.