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Some 383,625 Bangladeshi voters exercise "No" votes in parliamentary elections
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20:15, December 31, 2008

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Some 383,625 out of Bangladesh's over 81 million voters have exercised their "No" vote right in the country's ninth parliamentary elections held on Monday, showed the preliminary data of the Bangladesh Election Commission on Wednesday.

Requesting to be unnamed, a senior official of the Commission said it seemed that those who cast 'No' votes did not feel comfortable with any of 1555 candidates contested in the elections for 299 out of 300 parliament seats.

The election for one seat was rescheduled to be held on Jan. 12,2009 due to the death of one candidate.

Election Commission Commissioner Sakhawat Hussain said this is the first time in the history of the Bangladesh that voters got the opportunity of casting 'NO' votes in the parliamentary elections.

Though the number of 'No' votes is very poor compared to the total number of voters but it will have a very good impact on Bangladesh's politics as the parties will be bound to select more qualified candidates in future elections.

Out of 299 seats, according to the Election Commission, former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League won 231 seats, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party(BNP) won 29 seats, former President Muhammad Ershad-led Jatiya Party won 27 seats while five small parties and three independent candidates won rest 12 seats.

Source: Xinhua

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