Thursday, January 5, 2012

Peaceful Comilla polls end

Voting in Comilla City Corporation's maiden election ended peacefully as soon as the clock struck 4. 

The people who were within polling centres at the time will be allowed to cast their votes.

The voting started at 8:00am Thursday with a normal turnout. 

As time went by, the presence of enthusiastic voters was seen increasing with higher-than-expected participation of women voters, reports our correspondents covering the election. 

Earlier, two front-runner mayoral candidates - Monirul Hoque Sakku and Afzal Khan - expressed their satisfaction over the peaceful environment of the election.

The atmosphere all around the city is one of absolute festivity and the day is a general holiday in Comilla.

Voters were seen casting their ballots through easy-to-use electronic voting machines. They did not face any difficulty in time of using the EVM, reports our correspondents. 

This is the first time in the country that voters in all 65 centres used the voting machine.

Noorchan Begum, an elderly voter, expressed satisfaction after casting her vote at Shongrish Saleha Girls' High School centre in ward No. 16 for the user-friendly method of the EVM.
She even found the use of EVM easier than the ballot paper system.

Manobendra Roy, the presiding officer of Islamia Adarsha High School centre, told our correspondent that no one in his centre faced any types of difficulty during voting using the EVM. 


Sammilito Nagorik Committee-backed mayoral candidate Monirul Hoque Sakku cast his vote at Hocchamia High School poll centre around 9:30am and left the centre showing a V-sign.

After casting his vote, Sakku expressed his satisfaction to reporters saying, "The voting is going on peacefully and if the peaceful trend continues till the end, I will accept the people's mandate whatever it may be." 

He said, "If the Election Commission had launched its initiatives a bit earlier to make the voters accustom with the use of EVM it would have been better." 

He also exchanged greetings with the voters who were standing in queues at the centre.
Meanwhile, Awami League-backed mayoral candidate Afzal Khan exercised his franchise at Comilla Modern High School around 9:45am and left the centre showing a V-sign.

He also expressed his satisfaction over the peaceful atmosphere that was prevailing at the voting centres.
"The voting is going on tranquilly and the people are not facing difficulties while casting their votes using the EVM system," Afzal said. 

A contented Afzal also said he will accept whatever the result may be.


Unprecedented security measures were taken with deployment of over 3,000 lawmen and they were seen patrolling in and around the city to ensure law and order during the polling time. They will be on election duty till tomorrow.

Election officials earlier said 1,200 Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel, more than 2,000 police members, 150 members of Bangladesh Border Guard and Armed Police Battalion, 27 executive magistrates and nine judicial magistrates will work throughout the day to ensure free and fair voting.

A total of 1, 69,273 voters, including 86,074 females, are on the voters' roll to elect their first-ever city mayor from among nine candidates and 36 ward councillors, including nine reserved female councillors' seats, from among 287 contestants.