Bangladesh

Kushtia Municipality Polls: 100pc ballots cast at one polling centre

Officials in Kushtia are investigating allegations that votes were cast in the Mirpur municipality election using the names of people who had died and those who had been out of the country.

On papers, all the 1,415 constituents had voted at their polling centre in Naopara Government Primary School on January 16. Many have pointed out that such unrealistic voter turnout was evidence of rampant voter fraud. 

The Awami League mayor nominee got 1,024 votes, BNP nominee 176, an independent got 171, and 44 ballots were discarded because of user errors, officials said.

Of the nine other centres, 80 percent or more votes were cast at seven and 79 percent at two.

AL nominee Enamul Haque won with 10,420 votes while independent Arifur Rahman got 2,547, and BNP nominee Rahmat Ali got 1,736.

Arifur and Rahmat have demanded cancelation of the election on the day of the polls.

At a press conference, Arifur said votes were cast in Naopara using the names of Ator Ali Sheikh, 62, Rabia Khatun, 78, and Nur Islam Pramanik, 50 -- all of whom died in recent months.

He then mentioned some people who live abroad, but had their votes cast in Bangladesh.

An official, requesting anonymity, said an old voters' list might have been used at the centre, creating the opportunity for fraudulence.

The district administration and election officials said they were investigating the allegations.

AL nominee Enamul Haque said these were isolated cases, and those making the allegations had bad intentions.

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