Jubilant voters rush polling centres

December 29, 2008

Jubilant voters rush polling centres
Star Online Report
The capital city of Dhaka as elsewhere in the country wore a festive look today with tens of thousands walking down at polling centres to elect their representatives for the national parliament in the national election after seven long years.
Our correspondents who are visiting the polling centres found the voters standing in long queues to choose the representatives of their choice.
Some people however alleged that they could not cast votes as their names were not on the electoral roll.
A youth was fuming outside Dr Maleka University College. He came in the morning and found his name missing on the voter list. Up to 90 people could not vote at the centre, he alleged.
Outside the polling centres at Dhanmondi Girls’ School, Kakali High School, Dr Maleka Science College, many youths were found angry for the same reason.
There are some government officials and expatriates who came home just to cast their votes were in the disenfranchised group.
They sought the media’s help to inform the Election Commission about the matter and help them cast their votes showing their national identity cards.
But overall election atmosphere was fine.
After casting their votes at central road’s Ideal college polling centre National Professor Nurul Islam and Theatre personalities Ramendu Majumdar expressed their satisfaction with the election mood.
Many turned up before the voting began at 8:00 in the morning.
Many of them said in a spot account of the voting atmosphere in which rival camps got seated in a complete calm matching with the pleasant winter morning.
New voters, who are considering as deciding factor in this crucial election, were seen rushing in the polling centres with enthusiasm.
Presiding officer at Kathalbagan Khan Hasan Govt Primary School Sajjadul Bari told UNB that 10 percent votes had been cast at his centre by 9:30am.
And the presiding officer of one of the four centres at Shaheed Farooq Iqbal Girls High School at Malibagh, MA Salam, said 21 percent votes had been cast by 10:00am.
But there are reports of some minor clashes in some places.
Security forces were seen patrolling different polling stations to maintain peace around the polling centres.
A total of 8,10,58,698 voters nationally are exercising their franchise under a foolproof security cover put up by military and paramilitary troops, police, and Ansar-VDP personnel in view of the special context in which the election is taking place.
Over 600,000 security personnel, including nearly 50,000 military troops, built up an unprecedented security bulwark countrywide for the crucial election to the country’s ninth parliament after the lapse of two years for state of emergency.

Courtesy: thedailystar.net

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