Vol. 5 Num 138 Sun. October 10, 2004  
Front Page

Alliance wins Netrokona-2 by-polls

Ruling coalition candidate Mohammad Abu Abbas won the Netrokona-2 by-election held yesterday amid low turnout of voters and casting of huge false votes.

The BNP-led alliance candidate bagged 81,067 votes while his nearest rival Jatiya Party (Ershad) candidate Fakir Ashraf polled 32,019.

The by-election boycotted by the main opposition Awami League (AL) was held almost peacefully.

According to unofficial results, the turnout was about 38 percent, lowest in recent by-elections. But observers said voters' turnout at different centres was not more than 25 to 30 percent.

Ashraf termed the by-polls a 'blueprint' and alleged the ruling party activists drove his polling agents out of different centres. He rejected the by-polls.

Local AL leader Shamsuzzoha said voters rejected the coalition government by refraining from voting.

Voters' turnout was low due to the absence of the AL and inclement weather, the observers and locals reasoned.

Seven candidates contested the election but only the BNP and JP polling agents were available.

No voters turned up at the centres of CKP High School, Rampur Doshal Government Primary School and Kashban Bidyaniketan of Barhatta upazila from 11:00am to 12 noon.

A large number of security forces including army, paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles, police and Ansars were deployed to maintain law and order.

District unit of Fair Election Monitoring Alliance said though voters' turnout was poor, the election was held peacefully.

National Election Observation Council in its report said a polling agent at Kakali Government Primary School was seen casting false votes. Besides, underage voters cast votes at different centres.