May 26, 2024

BSS, DHAKA: The foreign election observers are roaming around different  polling centres openly since this morning while they put emphasis on transparency of the voting process rather the issue of voters’ turnout, said Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.

“They (foreign election observers) told me that they had come here to observe the voting process not seeing the voters turn out,” he told reporters after casting his vote at voting centre of Dhaka-10 constituency in the capital.

The foreign secretary said the voters turn out may be interesting for Bangladeshi people, but transparency of the electoral process is important to the election observers.

“Turn out is a factor, but whether the election process is transparent or not, whether there is any incident of intimidation or not also important,” he said.

However, the foreign secretary said, if the voters turnout would be a healthy number, it will go in favour of this election.

Masud said the election commission allows polls observers and journalists to roam freely even inside any voting centres. “It shows that the election commission is very much confident to make the election free and fair,” he added.

The foreign secretary said more than 125 foreign election observers are witnessing today’s 12th national election.

Today’s voting started at 8 am today simultaneously at 42,024 voting centres in 299 constituencies across the country as Election Commission (EC) earlier postponed the election to Naogaon-2 constituency due to independent candidate Aminul Islam’s death.

A total of 1,969 candidates, including 1,533 from 28 political parties and 436 independents, are vying in the polls in 299 constituencies.

A total of  11,93,33,157 voters, including 6,05,92,169 male, 5,87,40,140 female and 848 transgender, are registered to exercise their right of franchise to elect 299 parliament members today.

The balloting will continue till 4pm without any break as the EC has taken all-out preparations to hold the election in a free, fair and peaceful manner.

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