The ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) has secured as much as an average of 50.96 per cent vote in the two phases of Union Parishad elections held amidst widespread manipulation and violence that led to the killing of at least of 36 people.The ruling party, however, got 19.68 per cent vote on average in those UPs where its arch rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) participated in and some 30 per cent of votes were bagged by AL rebels and other parties.
Besides, the ruling AL candidates bagged over 80 per cent of cast votes in 183 UPs. Of them, over 90 per cent was secured for the ruling party in 84 UPs and as much as 99 per cent votes were cast for them in two UPs.AL candidate got 99.3 per cent vote in Nachanmahal UP under Nalchity upazila of Jhalakati and 99.31 per cent in Gopinathpur UP in Gopalganj.
On the flip side, the BNP got less than 10 per cent votes in 394 UPs and of them, it failed to secure even 1 per cent votes in 41 UPs.In the first phase, BNP candidates got less than 1 per cent vote in 24 UPs, and in 17 UPs in the second phase.BNP candidates got less than 100 votes in 30 UPs in the first phase while the number is 14 in the second phase.The BNP chairman candidate in Chandpai UP at Mongla of Bagerhat could not secure even a single vote in the election. Some 34 ruling party chairman candidates from the ruling party in the district won uncontested.Poll analysts term the election result ‘stunning’ and ‘unbelievable’.Analysis of the election results shows that the difference has been found wider where there was violence and irregularities.The elections to 712 union councils and to 639 union councils were held in first phase on 22 March and in the second phase on 31 March respectively.The AL chairman candidates won in as much as 984 UPs whereas BNP got only 108 UP chairmen in the two phases. The election commission is set to hold elections to the rest of about 3,000 UPs in four more phases.When his attention was drawn to the election outcome, former election commissioner M Sakhawat Hussain told the that the election result was shocking. “Everyone knows how large a vote bank the BNP has on the ground. It is unbelievable that the BNP would get not even a single vote in UP or would get five to ten votes in other UPs.”He said, “It may happen when the custodian turns thief. Whoever got the chance, occupied the polling station and the commission has assisted them.Election commissioner Shah Nawaz declined to make any comment on the abnormality in the election result.When approached, the BNP secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, said, “It was not an election rather was a farce. It was stage-managed. Analysis shows that the UP elections in the southern part of the country were one-sided. People were forced to openly stamp on ruling party’s election symbol ‘boat’ in this area which has been evidenced by the election result.Greenwatchdesk