Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s Ariful Haque Chowdhury has won the Sylhet mayoral race securing 6,201 votes more than his main
rival Badar Uddin Ahmad Kamran of Bangladesh Awami League.
Returning officer Md Alimuzzaman, also regional election officer, announced the result on Saturday evening after the end of the vote counts in the two polling stations where voting was suspended on July 30.
He said that Ariful was unofficially announced elected mayor as he secured 92,598 votes with his party’s electoral symbol ‘rice sheaf’ after completion of polling in the two suspended polling centres while his nearest rival Kamran got 86,397 votes with his party’s symbol ‘boat’.
‘Today’s re-election was held properly and peacefully. No untoward incident occurred during polling hours,’ Alimuzzaman said.
Earlier on July 30, Sylhet city election was held at 134 polling stations, but voting in two centres—Gazi Burhan Uddin Garam Dewan Government Primary School at ward 24 and Habinandi Government Primary School at ward 27—were suspended due to alleged massive irregularities and ballot snatching during the polling hours.
After counting votes of 132 polling centres, Ariful had secured 90,496 votes taking a lead by 4,626 votes over Kamran. As the number of registered voters in the two suspended polling centres was 4,787, the election commission decided to hold election again in the two centres.
In the re-election, Ariful bagged 2,102 votes while Kamran got 527 in the two polling centres.
In his initial reaction, mayor-elect Ariful told reporters in the evening that Saturday’s result had proven that people’s mandate could not be snatched away in any way. ‘I express my humble gratitude to all of the dwellers in Sylhet city.’
Kamran also expressed his gratitude to the citizens. ‘Sylhet city election has proven that the present election commission can hold a free and fair election.’
Besides, Sohel Ahmad Ripon was elected councillor after the re-election in general ward 24 while Azam Khan in general ward 27.
Rebeka Akter Lucky and Rokshana Begum Shanaz were elected councillors for reserved ward 8 and reserved ward 9 respectively.
Naznin Akter Kona was also elected councillor for reserved ward 7. Voting to elect the councillor in reserved ward 7 was held as the number of votes secured by two rival aspirants was equal in the polls held on July 30.
The number of ballots cast was 2,01,502 out of 3,21,732 and 7,484 votes were declared invalid.
Seven mayoral candidates contested the city election and five of them had to forfeit their security deposits submitted with the election commission as they failed to get at least one-eighth of the total votes cast, according to election law of local government bodies.
Ehsanul Mahbub Jubayer of Jamaat-e-Islami got 11,000 votes, Md Moazzem Hossain Khan of Islami Andolan Bangladesh got 2,208 votes, Abu Zafar of
Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal 909 votes, independent Badruzzaman Selim 592 votes and independent Md Ehsanul Haque Taher got 314 votes.
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