Significant low turnout in EVM seats

Ahammad Foyez | Published: 00:27, Jan 12,2019 | Updated: 00:29, Jan 12,2019


Casting of votes in the constituencies where electronic voting machines were used was recorded far lower than average turnout in the 11th parliamentary elections on December 30.
For the first time in country’s electoral history, EVMs were used in six parliamentary constituencies — Dhaka 6, Dhaka 13, Chattogram 9, Rangpur 3, Khulna 2, and Satkhira 2.
According the official results, the six constituencies, using EVMs, saw average 51.41 per cent polling while average turnout in the elections was about 80 per cent.
The data showed that 10,92,269 of the 21,24,554 voters cast vote in the six constituencies.
In Dhaka 13, the turnout was 43.05 per cent as 1,60,495 of the 3,72,775 voters cast their vote.
Awami League’s Sadek Khan polled 1,03,163 votes to defeat Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s Abdus Salam, who got 47,232 votes. Of the other candidates, Communist Party of Bangladesh’s Khan Ahsan Habib got 1,334 votes, Bangladesh Nationalist Front’s Dulal Kanti got 123, Bangladesh Islami Front’s Abdul Hakim got 269, Bangladesh Tariket Federation’s Lamrul Ahsan got 182, Peoples Democratic Party’s Ziaul Karim got 192, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh’s Murad Hossain got 6,432 and Jatiya Party’s Shafiqul Islam got 1,233 votes.
In Dhaka 6, the turnout was 45.26 per cent, 1,21,889 of the 2,69,315 voters.
Jatiya Party’s Kazi Firoz Rashid bagged 93,552 votes to defeat Gono Forum’s Subrata Chowdhury, who polled 23,690 votes. Of the other candidates, Gana Front’s Ahmed Ali Sheikh got 850, Bangladesh Muslim League’s Bobby Hajjaj got 750, National Peoples Party’s Akter Hossain got 198, CPB’s Abu Taher Hosain got 341, Jatya Party-JP’s Syed Najmul Huda 236 and Islami Andolan Bangladesh’s Monwar Khan got 2,272 votes.
In Khula 2, the turnout was 49.37 per cent, with 1,45,210 of the 294116 voters casting their vote.
Awami League’s Seikh Salauddin polled 1,12,100 votes to defeat BNP’s Nazrul Islam Manju who got 27,379 votes. Of the other candidates, CPB’s HM Shahadat got 1,016, BNF’s SM Sohag got 150, Zaker Party’s KM Idris Ali got 384, Gana Front’s Manira Begum got 176 and Islami Andolan Bangladesh’s MA Awal got 4,005 votes.
In Rangpur 3, the turnout was 52.31 per cent, with 2,31,054 of the 4,41,671 voters casting their vote.
Jatia Party’s HM Ershad bagged 1, 42,926 votes to defeat BNP’s Rita Rahman, who polled 53,089 votes. Of the other candidates, Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh’s Anowar Hoaasin got 3,214, IAB’s M Amiruzzaman got 23,177, Zaker Party’s Alamgir Hossain got 3,085, Khelafat Majlish’s Tawhidur Rahman got 449, NPP’s M Shamsul Haq got 922 votes, Hasanul Haq Inu led Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal’s Sakhawat Hossain got 1,532 and PDP’s Sabbir Ahmmed got 2,660 votes.
In Chattogram 9, the turnout was 62.87 per cent, with 2,45,449 of the 3,90,431 voters casting their vote.
AL’s Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury bagged 2,23,614 votes to defeat BNP’s Shahadat Hossain who got 1,76,042 votes. Of the other candidates, Bangladesh Islami Front’s Abu Azam got 1,648, Islami Front Bangladesh’s Muhammad Wahed Murad got 801, CPB’s Mrinal Chowdhury got 580, Jatiya Party-JP’s Morshed Siddique got 166, Islami Andolan Bangladesh’s Sheikh Amzad Hossain got 742 and Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan’s Rashidul Haq got 258 votes.
In Satkhira 2, the turnout was 52.82 per cent, as 1,88,172 of the 3,56,246 voters casting their vote.
AL candidate Meer Mostak Ahmed bagged 1,55,611 voted to defeat BNP’s Muhammad Abdul Khalek who polled 27,711 votes. Of the other candidates, Socialist Party of Bangladesh’s Nittananda Sarkar got 1,238, IAB’s Robiul Islam got 1,355, NPP’s Zulfikar Rahman got 749 and Jatiya Party’s Sheikh Matlub Hossain got 1,508 votes.
About the gap between the six constituencies using EVMs and the other, constituencies, election commissioner M Rafiqul Islam told New Age on Wednesday that a committee into EVMs management was reviewing the turnout.
He said that technical errors and other incidents happened with the use of EVMs.
He said that the committee formed immediately after the polls was asked to submit report soon.
The Election Commission would take next decision over the use of EVMs in future after getting the report, he said.
He, however, thought that turnout was thin in the EVM-using constituencies as it was a new technology.
The commission used EVMs in the polls ignoring protests of most political parties but ruling Awmai League and its allies.
On September 18, 2018, the executive committee of National Economic Council approved a project for purchasing 1.5 lakh EVMs in three phases costing about Tk 4,000 crore.

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