Long wait for a voter

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She came exactly at 8:00am, when the voting was supposed to begin but had to wait for two hours before the election observer, like the election officials, could spot the first voter at the centre.

Though Masuda Faruk Ratna, who works with Gram Bikash Shahayak Sangstha, was aware that today’s election was not going to be like the previous parliamentary polls, she was surprised to find only 30 voters till 12:10pm.

This correspondent met her at one of the 10 polling centres of Monipur High School centre in Mirpur of the capital.

Though 3019 voters are listed with centre, it wore a deserted look due to thin presence of voters.

Election officials, journalists and observers had a lazy time throughout the morning.

“This is so peculiar. I had to wait till 10am to see the first voter,” Ratna told The Daily Star.

Meanwhile, a mere 54 out of 2,664 voters exercised their right in another centre there.

The picture was all too common at most of the polling centres in the capital, with low voter turnout and lack of any festive mood.

Matuail Adarsha Uccho Bidyalay saw only 537 voters turning up till 12:30pm, reports our correspondent quoting Nurul Islam, presiding officer of the centre.

The turnout marks only 12.94 percent voters exercising their rights out of a total of 4298 voters there.

Our correspondent covering the polls reported from Shaheed Community Centre in Lalbagh (Dhaka-7 constituency) that the first vote was cast at 8:08am at the centre.

Another correspondent reported that only 10 voters cast their votes at Shahjadpur Nazar Mahmud Alim Madrasa centre in Dhaka-17 constituency till 9:00am.

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