Ruling Awami League candidate Talukder Abdul Khaleque was elected unofficially Khulna city mayor defeating opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party candidate Nazurl Islam Manju.
The returning officer of the mayoral elections to Khulna City Corporation M Younus Ali declared the unofficial results early Wednesday after Tuesday’s mayoral polls, allegedly marred by ballot stuffing and other irregularities.
Of the positions of councillors for 31 wards, AL candidates won 11, BNP candidates got 10, AL rebel candidates won 6, BNP rebel won 2 and independent candidates won one while an independent candidate was
leading in another ward, in which polling suspended at a polling station for irregularities, according to the unofficial results.
Out of 10 positions of councillor reserved for women, AL candidates won 9 while a BNP candidate was leading in the rest ward as polling at one polling station was suspended.
Khaleque won the election bagging 1,74,851 votes while his nearest contestant Manju of BNP polled 1,09,251 votes at 286 of the 289 polling stations.
Three other mayoral candidates Jatiya Party’s Shafiqur Rahman Mushfiq, Islami Andolan Bangladesh’s Maulana Mozammil Haque and Communist Party of Bangladesh’s Md Mizanur Rahman Babu bagged 1,072 votes, 14,363 votes and 534 votes respectively.
The voting was suspended in the remaining three polling stations because of violence, capture of polling stations and forced stuffing. A total of 6,565 voters enrolled to cast vote at those three polling stations.
The results show that 62.62 per cent voters exercised their voting rights in the polls.
On Tuesday, Khulna city mayoral elections was held amid allegations of widespread rigging, ballot stuffing and muscle flexing by ruling Awami League activists.
BNP leaders alleged that agents of their mayoral candidate Nazrul Islam Manju were forced out of polling stations while voters were barred from entering many the polling stations with the administration keeping silent.
The polling stations were dominated by the activists of AL mayoral candidate Talukder Abdul Khalek, who moved around the polling areas, violating electoral codes with law enforcers turning a blind eye.
Talukder Abdul Khaleque denied the allegations and claimed that the election was free and fair.
The Election Commission on Tuesday, however, claimed that it was an excellent election they conducted in Khulna.
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