Voter turnout could be over 30pc: CEC

Chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul AwalFile photo

The vote casting rate in 156 upazilas in the second phase of the Upazila Parishad elections could be more than 30 per cent, said Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on Tuesday.

The actual rate of vote casting will be available tomorrow, Wednesday, he added, while speaking to the media after completing of polling at Nirbachan Bhaban in the afternoon.

Four other election commissioners were with him at that time.

The CEC further said they intervened wherever attempts of ballot stuffing was made. Twenty five people were arrested with 10 of them jailed immediately, he informed the media.

Kazi Habibul Awal also said that of the 156 upazilas, electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used in 24 upazilas. Except a few stray incidents of violence and injuries of several people in those, the voting was overall peaceful, he stated.

Voter turnout in the first phase of the Upazila Parishad elections was 36 per cent. Speaking about the fall in the rate in the second phase, the CEC said personally he never thinks 30 per cent voter turnout rate encouraging.

He said the reason of low turnout rate could be that a large political party in the country has boycotted the elections through an announcement and discouraged the people from voting. Such attempts could be made in any democratic system; there could be parties for and against a system.

“There is no crisis over vote. The prevailing crisis is in politics,” Kazi Habibul Awal said.

The CEC hoped the crisis of low voter turnout will not be there in future and politics will become better and voters would be encouraged to franchise.

He said two people died but that was not related to voting.