CHITTAGONG: Counting votes began as the much-orchestrated Chittagong City Corporation election ended peacefully amid tight security Thursday.
Polling started at 8 am and continued till 4pm, without break.
Witnesses and Election Commission officials said hundreds of voters queued up and cast their vote to elect a new city father and his deputies to rule the port city.
Besides, votes were also cast to elect 41 councillors and 14 others to seats reserved for women.
Of the candidates, ruling Awami League-backed ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury cast his vote at No. 8 Sholokbahor Govt. Ahamadia Primary School at about 8:15 am while BNP-backed M Manjur Alam at Uttar Kattroli Hazi Daud Govt. Primary School at about 9:30 am.
Mohiuddin Chowdhury later told Banglanews24.com.bd, “Election got underway peacefully and I will accept the result.”
There are 4,748 polling booths in 674 polling centres around the city.
A total of 14,918 officers, led by a returning officer and seven assistants, are engaged in conducting the CCC polls. This figure includes 674 presiding officers, 4,748 assistant presiding officers and 9,496 polling officers.
Bangladesh through the CCC polls graduated to digital voting system on a limited scale, using Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
In the trailblazing test with the digitization of voting, the Election Commission is holding e-voting in 14 centers of ward No 21 in Jamalkhan area.
“City-dwellers in low-lying areas were also casting votes in rain-affected voting centers, as those were prepared again in the meantime,” said one EC official.
Earlier, about 50 polling centers of 25 institutions had been submerged for last few days’ heavy downpour.
A coordination cell headed by Joint Secretary of the Home Ministry Dr. Kamal Ahmed Siddiqui is maintaining law and order in poll areas through round-the-clock monitoring from the capital.
Six companies of army troops along with police, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and border guards are on duty in the city-corporation areas for policing the polls.
BST 0607 HRS, June 17, 2010