Saturday, January 19, 2019 | ePaper

Winner takes all

AL soars in vote percentage, BNP drowns in record loss

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bdnews24.com :
The Awami League has received a record percentage of votes in the recent general election that also served BNP its biggest ever defeat.
As much as 76.80 per cent of votes casted in the election were meant for the ruling party's 'boat', according to the results published by the Election Commission after polling on Dec 30. In 2014, the Awami League secured a 72.14 percent of votes. The party had secured 73.20 per cent of votes when Bangladesh's first parliamentary election was held in 1973.  Voting was held in 299 of the total 300 seats in parliament. But results were suspended in one of the seats in Brahmanbaria due to reports of violence.
The Election Commission has published the official gazette for 288 seats. According to Chief Election Commission KM Nurul Huda, the latest polls saw almost 80 per cent voter turnout. As many as 103.5 million people are listed as voters in the 288 seats.
In the 2008 polls, voter turnout was at record 87.13 per cent. # The BNP boycotted the 3rd national election in 1986. # The Awami League,
BNP and most other parties boycott the 4th polls in 1988. # The 6th national election is boycotted by most parties including the Awami League.
The BNP-led coalition boycotts 10th national polls in 2014. As many as 153 candidates are elected without contest, but votes held in 147 seats. The ruling Awami League and its allies, contesting for a third-consecutive term in power, had listed 271 candidates under its 'boat' symbol. Of them, 265 'boat' candidates won. The Awami League itself bagged 257 seats, excluding seats won by ally party candidates. The BNP had 281 candidates lined up for the polls. Of the total votes casted, 13.51 per cent went in favour of BNP's 'paddy sheaf' symbol. In earlier polls, percentage of votes for BNP ranged between 30 to 40 per cent. But the Dec 30 polls brought never-before-seen defeat for the BNP. The picture is similar for the Jatiya Party. The 'plough' also suffered record defeat when 178 candidates altogether bagged 5.37 per cent of the votes.
While the BNP is ahead of the Jatiya Party in terms of ballots secured, Jatiya Party secured 22 seats, way more than the BNP.  All 39 of the country's registered political parties had participated in the 11th parliamentary elections. Over 1,850 candidates contested the national polls either independently or under a party symbol. Among them, 1,422 had their security deposits forfeited. In the 1991 elections, a record 1,934 candidates lost their security deposits, which represented 69 percent of all election hopefuls that year. Election law stipulates that any candidate who fails to earn at least one-eighth of the total ballots cast in a given constituency will have their security deposit confiscated. Prior to the Dec 30 ballots, MP hopefuls were required to deposit Tk 20,000 as security money to the Election Commission.
The Islami Andolan Bangladesh with its 'hand-held fan' symbol fielded the highest number of candidates from a single political party in the last election. Among its 297 candidates, 296 have lost their security deposits. Out of 281 'paddy sheaf' candidates, 160 (57 percent) had their security deposits forfeited while the figure is 150 of 174 (86 percent) among 'plough' candidates. However, none of the Awami League candidates have lost their deposits.  In the 9th parliamentary elections, a total 969 candidates had lost their security deposits, among whom, four were from the Awami League, two from the BNP and 13 from the Jatiya Party. While 41 Jatiya Party candidates failed to recover their payments in the 10th national elections, no Awami League candidates endured the same fate.

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