Bangladesh completes voter list to hold fair polls

DHAKA Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:59am IST

A woman has her photo taken with her name held up in front of her in Sreepur, 70 km from the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, June 10, 2007. REUTERS/Rafiqur Rahman/Files

A woman has her photo taken with her name held up in front of her in Sreepur, 70 km from the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, June 10, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Rafiqur Rahman/Files

Related Topics

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh has cleaned up and completed a voter registration list ahead of elections in December, officials said on Wednesday.

Election Commission officials said they recorded the identities, photographs and fingerprints of more than 80 million voters in less than one year at a cost of $65 million.

The new list dropped "fake names and duplicate entries", one election commission official said. The previous list had more than 90 million voter names, many of them found to be fake in fresh registration held with the help of the army.

The completion of the new voter list was an achievement for the interim government which took office in January last year vowing fair and free elections by the year's end.

The interim government, which cancelled elections in January last year and then announced emergency rule, embarked on a massive clean-up of local politics in preparation for the year-end voting.

Earlier this month, it introduced new election rules making it compulsory for political parties to register to take part, and giving voters the chance to reject all candidates if they thought none were suitable.

Fakhruddin Ahmed, the head of the army-backed government, which took over following months of political violence, said the demand for an error-free voters' list with photographs was almost universal.

He said the new list, with more than 80.5 million voter names, was the most accurate.

Elections in Bangladesh are routinely marred by widespread cheating including multiple voting, wildly doctored voter rolls, intimidation and bribery.

Speaking at the launch of the new voter list, Fakhruddin said it would serve as a "model for not only the elections planned for this year but for all polls in future."

FILED UNDER:

Diplomacy

Reuters Showcase

Documentary Banned

Documentary Banned

Documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape banned in India.  Full Article 

RBI Rate Cut

RBI Rate Cut

RBI surprises with post-budget rate cut.  Full Article 

Beef Ban

Beef Ban

After beef ban, Hindu groups force abattoirs to close   Full Article 

Insurance Reforms

Insurance Reforms

Opposition support bolsters prospects for insurance reforms.  Full Article 

Axed by Censors

Axed by Censors

India's censor blocks 'Fifty Shades of Grey' from cinemas.  Full Article 

Bollywood Focus

Bollywood Focus

Franchise Man swoops in to save Bollywood.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India expects better monsoon rains this year.  Full Article 

Reuters Interview

Reuters Interview

Budget lacks wow, but good enough: Jim O’Neill.  Full Article 

Slim Chances

Slim Chances

Dozens of miners missing, feared dead after blast in east Ukraine.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage