• Friday, Sep 21, 2018
  • Last Update : 09:35 pm

City polls: Awami League wins Rajshahi, Barishal, results postponed in Sylhet

  • Published at 09:59 am July 31st, 2018
RCC and BCC polls
From the left, AHM Khairuzzaman Liton of Rajshahi and Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah of Barisal Rajib Dhar and Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Announcement of Sylhet results postponed

Awami League mayoral candidates have been unofficially declared winners in Rajshahi and Barisal city corporation polls.

However, the announcement of Sylhet’s results has been postponed, reports UNB.

In Rajshahi, counting ended early and Awami League mayoral contestant AHM Khairuzzaman Liton won with a comfortable margin over his rival—with 166,394 votes in 138 polling centres. Comparatively, BNP’s Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul received 78,492 votes.

Returning Officer Syed Amirul Islam announced the results around 11:45pm.

In Barisal, Awami League candidate Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah bagged 109,803 votes, while Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, of BNP, got 13,041 votes, in 107 centres.

Returning Officer Mujibur Rahman announced the results around 11:50pm.

In Sylhet, the announcement of the results was postponed because the number of votes in two centres, where voting was suspended, exceeds the difference between the two leading candidates' tallies.

BNP mayoral candidate Ariful Haque Chowdhury got 90,496 votes in 132 of 134 centres— while Awami League's Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran got 86,870 votes. 

Ariful was leading by 4,628 votes while the number of voters in the centres where voting was suspended, is 4,787.

Under such circumstances, Returning Officer Mohammad Alimuzzaman postponed the announcement of the results around 11:45pm.

Earlier on Monday, voting in the Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet city corporation elections was held amid: a boycott, allegations of rigging, the ousting of polling agents, and other irregularities.

The balloting, that started at 8am, continued till 4pm amid a boycott, and allegations of rigging, by BNP and other parties.

“We have been talking about the government’s blueprint to manipulate the elections in the three cities since the beginning, and it was exposed today,” said BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office.

Most candidates boycott Barisal polls

In Barisal, BNP mayoral candidate Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) contestant Abul Kalam Azad, and Islami Andolon Bangladesh candidate Obaidur Rahman Mahbub boycotted the polls—alleging widespread vote rigging and other irregularities.

Besides, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal candidate Manisha Chakrabarty and Jatiya Party candidate Md Iqbal Hossain also rejected the vote. Manisha said her polling agents were driven out of the voting centres and votes rigged at many centres.

They demanded the Election Commission postpone the polls.

BNP candidate refuses to vote

In Rajshahi, BNP mayoral candidate Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul abstained from casting his vote—protesting irregularities in the city corporation election.

The BNP mayoral candidate positioned himself infront of Islamia College polling centre, in the city’s Binodpur area, to protest the ousting of his party’s polling agents from different polling stations.

Bulbul also alleged that BNP supporters were obstructed from casting their votes.

Sporadic violence in Sylhet

In Sylhet, councillor candidate and Jubo League Leader Rimad Ahmed Rubel, along with his supporters, allegedly seized the polling centre at Khasdabir Government Primary School in ward 50, locked the door, and stuffed ballot boxes.Then, voting in the polling centre was suspended for an hour.

Voting was also suspended at Shahjalal Jamia Islamia Kamil Madrasah polling centre, at Pathantula, for 15 minutes, following a clash between the activists of Awami League and Jamaat-e-Islami, said presiding officer Jamil Ahmed.

Meanwhile, police fired shots in the air at Kazi Jalal Uddin High School centre in ward 18, around 11am, as the supporters of two councillor candidates seized the centre.

The voting came to a halt following the incident. A vehicle was also vandalized.

The city elections are the last major polls before the next general election—which is expected to be held in December this year.