Dhaka, December 30 (BDNews24.com/newsin.asia): Despite several deaths and allegations of violence and irregularities from various parts of the country, the ruling Awami League has described the election as largely without conflict.
The Joint General Secretary of the ruling Awami League, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, said: “In the 47 years of Bangladesh, I believe this election had the least conflict. There were some unfortunate incidents, but the elections were largely peaceful.”
Nanak briefed the media at the Awami League president’s offices in Dhanmondi.
Ten of those killed in election violence were Awami League activists, he claimed.
“We had been worried for some time that BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) and Jamaat (Jamaat-e-Islami) would suddenly do something at the end. This is why we repeatedly warned the people of Bangladesh. But, thanks to the state of alert among the people and law enforcers, they were unable to conduct any significant sabotage.”
“The BNP-Jamaat knew they were beaten and began to attack Awami League activists.”
“The violence led to the deaths of 10 Awami League activists, the injury of 55. Bomb attacks occurred in six places, 10 vehicles were set on fire, seven presiding officers were hurt and several polling centres were attacked, leading to a suspension of the polls.”
Foreign election observers have stated that it was a peaceful election and the Election Commission has expressed its satisfaction, he said.
Awami League has 260 candidates, Bangladesh Nationalist Party fields 257
The Election Commission said that all the registered political parties contested the 11th parliamentary election this time. In the previous election, held five years ago amidst widespread and often deadly violence, most of the registered parties chose to stay away from the ballot.
To ensure law and order, 700,000 security personnel, 700,000 election officials and a good number of journalists and observers, making up a total of 1.5 million, are engaged in electoral work, according to Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed.
The election schedule, announced on November 8 by CEC Nurul Huda, was revised on Nov 12.
The candidates started electioneering after the allotment of the symbols on Dec 10. All campaigning was officially ended on Friday 8am, as decided by the EC.
Of the 103,826,823 voters, 52,371,620 are men and 51,455,203 women. Voting was conducted in 205,691 polling stations in 40,051 voting centers.
There were 25 million first time voters.In 83 out of the 300 sears, minorities are a key factor.The Jamaat-e-Islami is contesting in 23 of the 300 seats as part of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
In six constituencies – Dhaka-6, Dhaka-13, Chattogram -9, Rangpur-3, Khulna-2 and Satkhira-2 – used Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). The remaining 293 seats had traditional method of vote casting using ballot paper.
There are 1,861 candidates contesting in the 11th parliamentary elections. Among them, 1,733 were nominated by 39 registered political parties. The remaining 128 were independent candidates.
As many as 272 candidates of the ruling Awami League and 16 of its allies are contesting the election with ‘boat’ symbol. 260 of them are from the Awami League. Its key ally, Jatiya Party, is contesting with ‘plough’ logo.
A total of 282 nominees of the BNP and eight of its allies were using the ‘paddy sheaf’ symbol. They includes 257 from the BNP. Outside the registered parties, the candidates of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Nagorik Oikya were also contesting under the ‘paddy sheaf’ symbol.
Election Commission has allocated Tk 7 billion for the 11th parliamentary election. Two-thirds of the money will be spent on security.
(The featured image at the top shows Bangladeshi officials receiving ballots from polling stations)