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Dhaka Tribune

Lutfur becomes mayor of Tower Hamlets again

Update : 24 May 2014, 04:33 AM

Bangladeshi-born Lutfur Rahman has become the mayor in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets for a second time, defeating Labour Party candidate, reports The Guardian.

Lutfur contested as a candidate of 'Tower Hamlets First', a political group he formed six months ago to fight the borough polls. He was first elected as the executive mayor of Tower Hamlets in 2010 as an Independent candidate.

He defeated the Labour candidate in the second choice of voting as no candidate has got more than 51% of the vote. A candidate needs 51% votes to win in first round. Tower Hamlets borough has a total of 181,871 voters. But only 86,542 (47.58%) exercised their franchise. The Bangladeshi-born British bagged 37,395 votes, ahead of his nearest rival, Labour Party's s John Biggs, who secured 34,143 votes.

Victory will ensure that the Bangladeshi-born mayor will maintain control of a £1.2bn budget.

Last month, the communities secretary sent in auditors to scrutinise his administration following claims that he is favouring his associates and the Bangladeshi and Somali communities with grants and the sale of council properties.

The expected result will be seen as a significant loss for Labour who had hoped that Lutfur's first victory in 2010 was a result of a low turnout. Biggs was odds-on to win the seat on Thursday.

The turnout for the mayoral election was 47.58% – nearly double the percentage who voted when Lutfur first won.


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