Upazila voting begins with low turnout

The Upazila elections underway at 8am on Thursday saw a very low turnout, in a scenario reverse to the national elections where some 87 percent ballots were cast.

bdnews24.com
Published : 21 Jan 2009, 11:35 PM
Updated : 21 Jan 2009, 11:35 PM
Dhaka, Jan 22 (bdnews24.com) – The Upazila elections underway at 8am on Thursday saw a very low turnout, in a scenario reverse to the national elections where some 87 percent ballots were cast.
bdnews24.com correspondents Syedul Islam Talat, Ruhul Amin Rana and Reazul Bashar report from the polling centres in Savar, Gazipur and Chittagong.
Less than 50 ballots were cast in the first hour of Al Nasir Laboratory School polling centre of Hemayetpur Upazila in Savar.
Presiding officer Kazi Raqibul Islam told bdnews24.com the turnout in the polls to the local government body was much poor compared to the parliamentary elections.
"We hope voters will show up later," he said.
There were more security guards than the voters in Singail Harindhora Government Primary School centre.
Assistant presiding officer Siddiqur Rahman blamed the low presence on fog and cold weather. He however hoped the voters may turn up in droves after midday.
Local people expressed reluctance to cast ballots as they alleged they did not know the candidates.
Savar University College witnessed the same scenario. There was a very few voters in the centre.
Presiding officer Hasanuzzaman said the number of voters in the centre was 3356. The first two hours saw fewer than 200 votes cast whereas more than 800 votes were cast by that time in the national polls.
On the poor casting, he said voters might not be too keen on the polls as the major elections were held only a few days ago.
He did not believe cold weather or fear discouraged them from appearing in the polling centres.
Imtiaz Bulbul, a voter waiting outside the centre said the government had already been formed. "What will this election do for us?" he asked.
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Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher