Voting going on peacefully: EU team chief

December 29, 2008

Voting going on peacefully: EU team chief
UNB, Dhaka
European Union (EU) chief election observer Alexander Lamsdorff today said he found large turnout of enthusiastic voters casting their votes in an orderly and peaceful manner in the first three hours without any fear and intimidation.
Talking to reporters and election officials after observing voting process at Suritola Primary School centre in Old Dhaka, he said, they received information from EU long-term observers that the same peaceful situation has been prevailing across the country.
“We’ll not only observe the polling but also observe the counting of votes, consolidation and announcement of the results. Our observation is not over,” said Lamsdorff, a member of the European Parliament.
Sought comments on the voting atmosphere, he said people are voting without fear and intimidation.
Asked whether apparent slow voting would deprive the voters, the chief observer said voters usually turned out in large number at the beginning of the day and there would be lower turnout in the afternoon. “We’ll see the situation till the end of the day,” he added.
About allegations of buying votes and irregular practices by some election officials, Lamsdorff said people who have grievances can either make those public with evidence or share with the EU election observation mission. “We’ll see the evidence, analyse and make comments,” he said.
Asked if he received any complaints from his long-term observers spreading across the country, the chief observer said there are some incidents that need to be investigated. “We’re very through, in case of problems, and we’ll look into those on the basis of our methodology.”
However, Lamsdorff said the important thing is to see whether the results have reflected the will of the people of Bangladesh.
The EU has deployed 150 observers across the country to monitor the election and is scheduled to make their preliminary statement on December 31.


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