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Bangladesh's capital dwellers rush for village homes to vote in parliamentary polls on Monday
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16:04, December 27, 2008

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With the Bangladesh's ninth parliamentary election only a day away, thousands of dwellers living in capital Dhaka have started to return to their village homes to join poll campaign and cast votes scheduled on Dec. 29.

Home bound Abdur Rahim, a private firm official, told Xinhua at a railway station here Saturday, "I am leaving Dhaka to join poll campaigns and cast my vote. Many of my family members have already left."

Although the rush for returning home started a few days back, the bus terminals, railway stations and launch terminals in the capital are still crowded with home bound people on Saturday.

"The rush will climax Sunday as a large number of dwellers will leave Dhaka after their offices close for Monday's election," Rahim Miah, a government employee said.

The Bangladeshi caretaker government on Wednesday announced Dec.29 a public holiday to enable all to cast their votes amid a holiday mood.

Rickshaw puller Nurun Nabi said, "I'll leave Dhaka on Sunday to go to my village home at Lalmonirhat district," 343 kilometers northwest of capital Dhaka. "I don't like to miss the opportunity of casting my vote to bag victory of my candidate in the election."

More than 1,552 candidates including 50 women are contesting for 299 out of the 300 seats of the parliament on Monday's election. The election for one constituency was postponed and rescheduled to be held on Jan. 12 after a candidate had died in a fire accident.

According to the country's Election Commission, the total number of voters is over 81 million, of which 50.9 percent are females.

Two major political parties -- Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by its chairperson, former prime minister Khaleda Zia, and Awami League led by its president, former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, are campaigning round the clock across the country urging voters to vote for their candidates.

Talking to Xinhua, the home bound dwellers expressed their satisfaction over security arrangement and hoped there will be a free, fair and internationally acceptable election.

A total of 35,216 polling centers will be set up across the country. At each polling center, some 14 to 18 law-enforcers will be deployed to maintain law and order.

Bangladesh's 9th parliamentary election was originally due on Jan. 22, 2007, but was postponed following violent disputes over the impartiality of election issues by major parties, which also led to an imposition of a 23-month-long state of emergency.

The caretaker government led by former central bank governor Fakhruddin Ahmed took office on Jan. 12, 2007 and ruled the country since then. They promised to hand over power to an elected government after a fair and free election is held on Dec. 29.

Source: Xinhua



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