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Voter turnout was below 25pc: EC Mahbub Talukdar
Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar briefs to reporters at a press briefing at Nirbachan Bhaban in Dhaka on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2018.

Voter turnout was below 25pc: EC Mahbub Talukdar

Dhaka, Jan 01 – Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar has said less than 25 percent voters exercised their franchise in the elections to the two Dhaka city corporations on Saturday.“The biggest achievement of the election using EVMs is that no polling station witnessed cent percent voter turnout and there’s no scope of stuffing ballot boxes the night before the election,” he said in a statement on Saturday evening.
The election commissioner issued the statement hours after the voting in the elections to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) ended at 4 pm.
“We’re now free from the bad name of ballot box-stuffing and cent percent vote cast,” he further said.
Mahbub Talukdar said he visited 12 polling centres from 10 am to 2 pm where he found no polling agents of any other mayoral candidate other than the ruling party.
Until 1:30 pm, the voter turnout out was only 10 percent, he added.
The election commissioner also said the election was peaceful and no bloodshed took place except some sporadic incidents.
He, however, said no other parties except one party were seen in the field. “We’re unaware of the reason behind their absence.”
Earlier, balloting in the DNCC and DSCC elections ended at 4 pm amid ‘low voter turnout’ and reports of sporadic violence and allegations of BNP agents being driven out of polling stations.
The full-fledged use of Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs for recording votes instead of traditional ballot papers evoked mixed reactions from both voters and politicians.
According to unofficial results, AL mayoral runner Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh bagged 365,032 votes while BNP’s Ishraque Hossain polled 197,775 in 979 centres out of total 1,150 in DSCC.
In DNCC, ruling party contestant Atiqul Islam got 125,113 votes while his nearest rival Tabith Awal of BNP polled 73,067 in 347 centres out of total 1,318.
Rejecting the results of the elections to the two Dhaka city corporations, BNP has called a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Dhaka for Sunday. – UNB