Dhaka pre-election survey indicates faith in poll

November 21st, 2008 - 4:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Nov 21 (IANS) Thirty seven percent of those covered in a pre-poll survey across Bangladesh have indicated a swing in voting pattern, even as an overwhelming 96 percent said they were keen to vote to end the 22-month spell of the current military-backed interim regime.Eighty-six percent feel that holding the polls Dec 18 is very important for the nation, The Daily Star-Nielsen Election Opinion Poll 2008 revealed.

However, the poll date is likely to shift by ten days, to Dec 28, as per indications from the principal players.

Former prime minister Khaleda Zia and her Islamist allies gave a conditional nod to the likely new date late Thursday evening.

Amidst allegations from sections of political parties of “conspiracy” — either because they feel at being the receiving end or want to use it as a bargaining chip, 97 percent of respondents were confident that the upcoming elections would be free and fair.

The result of the survey by the largest English language newspaper and a professional body conducting poll-related exercises, were announced Friday.

Those surveyed want the next government to make prices of essentials as its prime task. Forty one percent of the respondents marked it as the top most priority issue.

The next two important issues which they feel needs to be addressed are corruption (14 percent) and law and order (12 percent).

More female and rural voters tagged inflation as the first priority of the next government than male and urban respondents.

Interestingly, around one in four voters (23 percent) will cast their votes for the first time. Among the new voters, more number of females will be seen in the upcoming election - 29 percent, compared to the males - 18 percent.

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