JANIPOP Observation Report on Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangshad Elections 26, June 2010 Part-1

Compilation and Report Drafting by:

Advocate Itrat Amin

Founder Member & National Trainer

JANIPOP

Dr. A.K.M. Reazul Hassan

National Observer, JANIPOP

Dr. Nasir Uddin

International Observer, JANIPOP

Edited by:

Professor Dr. Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah

Founder & Chairman, JANIPOP

Address:

JANIPOP- Jatiya Nirbachon Parjobekkhon Parishad

(National Election Observation Council)

Lily Arcade (3rd Floor), 74, Laboratory Road

Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh

Phone: 8625771 (Office), 8126172 (Res.)

Mobile: 01711-531652, Fax: 88-02-8143788

E-mail: janipop1995@gmail.com, janipop1@yahoo.com

Web: www.janipop.org

The report is available for study and research at JANIPOP National Secretariat. Interested readers can contact JANIPOP Chair for the availability of hard copy of this report. JANIPOP claims the copyright of all its documents and reports. No part of this report and the above-mentioned report can be photocopied, translated or reproduced without the prior permission of JANIPOP.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary                                                                         1

Pre Election Scenario                                                                      2

Area Coverage                                                                               3

Methodology of Observation                                                       3

Election Day Observation in Chronology                                               6

Highlights of the Day                                                                       6

Poll Logistics and Security Arrangements                        6

Presence of Authorized Polling Agents                           7

Timely Start of the Election                                     7

Ballot Serial at the Start of Voting                         8

Voters with ID Cards                                                           8

Accessibilities of Disabled Voters                         8

Timely Closure of Poll                                                           9

Ballot Serial at the End of Voting                          9

Voter Turnout                                                                        9

Violence in and around the Polling Station                    10

Counting of Votes Casted                                     11

Declaration of Results of the Elections                            11

Availability of the Copy of the Results                             12

Media Coverage                                                                12

General Comments on the Elections                                           12

Post Election Recommendations                                      13

Annexure-1: List of Observers                                                        14

Annexure-2: Poster of Election Code of Conduct                                17

Annexure-3: Poll Monitoring Checklist                                         18

Annexure-4: Schedule of Poll                                                        19

Annexure- 5: Samples of JANIPOP Observers’ ID Cards

issued by the Election Commission                      22

Executive Summary

The Muktijoddah Sangshad Election 2010 was a nationally important event. A high stature Election commission was formed headed by the Cabinet Secretary of the Government. Altogether three complete panels and several independent candidates took part in the election on 26 June 2010. Each voter had to cast 69 votes – 41 votes for Central, 17 for Districts and 11 for Upazilla Command. The ballot papers were long. The Commission used old ballot boxes made of iron instead of translucent ones. The Commission also relied on voter roll without photograph. The instruction for the poll officials was not clear enough with reference to establishment of identity of the voters.

The contesting panels lodged formal complaints to the Election Commission regarding non-compliance of several facets of the code of conduct. There were wide spread allegations of claiming blessings of the head of the government and the party in power in favor of a particular panel. The Election Commission issued cautionary note to the offenders. Concerned candidates either denied or disowned the responsibility. However, the Commission did not attend the complaints using appropriate means. As a result, the electoral process was found flawed in the pre election phase.

Altogether 68 volunteers from JANIPOP were deployed in 63 districts throughout Bangladesh to observe the Election Day and subsequent events. Only Nowgaon district could not be covered due to illness of the concerned volunteer.

Apparently polling went on well throughout the country. Torrential rain hampered free movements of the voters and affected the turnout.

Post election scenario was marred with wide spread allegation of fraud by losing candidates. Despite such allegations, the election commission came up with the result.

Considering all pros and cons of pre and post election scenario JANIPOP is of the opinion that controversy centering the elections could have been averted. The elections could have been held in a more free, fair and impartial manner, if the election commission concerned was careful and cautious from the very start.

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