Polls peaceful, say foreign observers
Following a day-long visit to different voting centers, some foreign observers said they found the voters purely empowered and enthusiastic about being able to come and vote. A group of foreign and local observers on Sunday said vote went on smoothly in the city with much enthusiasm among voters.
"Everyone is getting access to their polling stations and able to cast their ballots. All the officials are doing a great job to maintain order and ensure that people are respected," Canadian observer Tania Foster, a member of the foreign observer team, told journalists at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College polling centre on Sunday morning. The observers' team is comprised of five foreign election observers from Canada, India and Nepal, and three local observers.
Indian observer Dr Gautom Ghosh said he had seen voting going on very spontaneously. "People are coming and the administration has taken adequate steps. There's absolute peace and I feel everything is good till now." Asked about comparison with India during polls, he said, "We find the same thing. People are standing in the line and they're giving their votes spontaneously."
Dr Ghosh said there is peace when they see breach of peace in some other countries.
Foster said she visited five centres in the city and so far everything she had observed to this point demonstrated that it had been very orderly.
"I'm really encouraged that things are moving along so smoothly and I'm looking forward to the rest of the day continuing to see peacefulness and excitement and the enthusiasm of Bangladeshi people that they're able to come and cast their votes to elect their new government," she said.
Meanwhile, an Indian observers team led by Aariz Aftab, chief electoral officer of West Bengal, has witnessed 'calm, serene ambiance' in the elections while visiting a number of polling stations in the capital A three-member Indian delegation has arrived to observe the 11th Parliamentary Elections. "We have visited a number of polling stations and as far as the perception goes there was calm, serene ambiance in the polling stations," he told journalists at the end of the elections. He said, "A lot of gaiety was visible."
"We definitely feel that there has been meticulous planning as far as the Bangladesh Election Commission is concerned," he said. The Bangladesh Election Commission and the Indian Election Commission have "a long standing cooperation and cordial relationship." With this election observance, he said, the relationship would be "strengthened".