Turnout in Bangladesh’s ninth parliamentary elections sets record

Bangladesh’s ninth parliamentary elections held on Monday recorded a stunning 86.29 percent voter turnout, breaking all records of the previous national polls, the country’s Election Commission said.

Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda told reporters at a press conference here on Thursday that the turnout makes record this time as there was a congenial atmosphere for the national polls.

“We took all kinds of measures to make the elections transparent and free from muscle power,” he said.

Huda said over 600,000 law enforcers including 50,000 troops were deployed across the country on the election day to ensure foolproof security. Some 14 to 18 security personnel were on duty in each polling center.

“Security arrangement has created confidence among voters and helped to increase turnout rate,” he said.

“Turnout rate also increased as we established 35,158 polling centers across the country against 29,158 polling centers in 2001 to facilitate more voters to exercise their voting without staying much time in queues,” he said.

Bangladesh has been holding democratic parliamentary elections since 1991. During the last three elections held in 1991, 1996 and2001, the turnouts were 55.45 percent, 74.96 percent and 75.59 percent respectively, he said.

More than 1,500 candidates from 39 registered parties as well as independent ones were contesting in the country’s ninth parliamentary elections held on Monday.

Bangladesh’s major party Awami League led by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina won a landslide victory with 230 seats of total 300 parliament seats, more than enough to form a government.