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Bangladesh faces low voter turnout as the opposition boycotted the election

Bangladesh faces low voter turnout as the opposition boycotted the election

Bangladesh faces low voter turnout as the opposition boycotted the election

Bangladesh faces low voter turnout as the opposition boycotted the election

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  • Voter turnout was approximately 40%, a dependable estimate.
  • In 2018, Bangladesh recorded a voter turnout of over 80%.
  • Voters highlighted the low turnout at various polling stations across the capital.
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In a general election on Sunday, Bangladesh experienced a low voter turnout, expected to maintain the ruling party in power as the opposition boycotted the polls.

More than 42,000 stations across the country accommodated around 119 million registered voters, constituting 70 percent of the total population. The Election Commission reported the deployment of approximately 700,000 security officials to safeguard the polls, with around 200 foreign observers monitoring the voting process.

The ruling Awami League encountered no significant rivals, as the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies refrained from participating in Sunday’s vote. The incumbent administration rejected the BNP’s months-long demand for a neutral caretaker government to administer the election.

Kazi Habibul Awal, the chief of the Election Commission, announced that the voter turnout was approximately 40 percent.

“This is the dependable estimate of the turnout,” Awal told reporters in Dhaka. “The percentage of votes cast may fall or go up after we have processed all the data.”

2018 elections:

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In the 2018 election, Bangladesh recorded a voter turnout of over 80 percent. Foreign observers who monitored Sunday’s vote reported that Bangladesh’s polls adhered to international standards.

Shakir Mahmood Bandar, heading the election observation mission from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, informed reporters during a press conference that the elections were organized and peaceful.

At various polling stations across the capital, voters also highlighted the low turnout.

“The voter turnout is not very decent. Since the opposition boycotted the election, I think many people lost interest in voting. The festive mood is missing,” Mohammed Forkan Ali, 59, who was voting in Dhaka’s Lalbagh neighborhood, told Arab News.

“I think the opposition should have participated in the election process as it is a fundamental issue for any democracy … Today’s election has created a unique condition for democracy in the country. I wonder, who will sit on the opposition bench in the parliament?”

Tarannum Begum, residing in the capital’s Mirpur area, witnessed a similar scene when she went to cast her vote.

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“I think it’s my sacred national duty to cast a vote during the elections. That’s why I came here … Everything is very orderly, but I noticed a low voter turnout,” Begum, 37, told the news.

“For a peaceful journey toward development, political leaders from all the parties should sit together and agree to determine our future roadmap to become a prosperous nation.”

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