64% turnout in 3rd phase

Nearly 64 percent voters have showed up at the polling centre in the third phase of the Upazila Parishad elections, the Election Commission (EC) says.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 16 March 2014, 01:02 PM
Updated : 16 March 2014, 04:45 PM

The voting took place on Saturday in 81 Upazilas across 41 districts.

Of the 13,106, 242 voters, 8, 324, 812 cast their votes for more than 1,100 candidates who ran for the posts of chairman and male and female vice-chairman.

Of the total, 369,855 votes were cancelled.

The first phase of the Upazila polls had seen 62.44 percent vote casting at 97 Upazilas and the second leg saw 63.31 percent at 116 Upazilas.

In the third Upazila elections in 2009, the voter turnout was 67.69 percent.

In Saturday's polls, the highest voter turnout of 84.50 percent was in Rajshahi’s Durgapur. The lowest 47.23 percent was in Mymensingh’s Fulbaria.

In the 10th parliamentary election that took place on Jan 5, the voter turnout was 40 percent.

The BNP and its allies did not contest taht election, but they have fielded candidates in the Upazila Parishad polls.

Altogether, in the three phases Awami League has gained 121 chairman posts while BNP secured 126.

The staggered Upazila elections are being held in six phases. The fourth phase will be held in 93 Upazilas on Mar 23 and in 74 Upazilas on Mar 31.

The EC plans to hold elections in the rest of the Upazilas on May 3 after the HSC exams.

Cancelled votes on the rise

The number of cancelled votes rose despite various awareness campaigns, the Election Commission said.

EC officials said even though the voter turnout was much higher than the national election, there were more cancelled votes simply because of a lack of awareness.
There are too many symbols on the ballot paper and often voters do not fold them properly, they said.

In the first phase, 461,383 votes were cancelled. In the second phase, 562,955 votes were cancelled.

As many as 369,855 votes were cancelled in the third phase.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher