Almost all candidates from this constituency became MPs and secured positions in the cabinet
The Chittagong 9 constituency is deemed the most crucial, as almost all candidates previously elected from this seat became MPs and secured seats in the cabinet.
During the ninth parliamentary election in 2008, Awami League leader Nurul Islam BSc, who is currently the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister, was elected an MP in the constituency defeating BNP's candidate Shamshul Alam.
BNP Vice-Chairman Abdullah Al Noman was elected an MP from this constituency in 1991. MA Mannan became a lawmaker from this constituency in 1996. Abdullah Al Noman became a lawmaker again in 2001.
In the last national election held in 2014, Jatiya Party’s Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu was elected from this seat. However, Nurul Islam BSc was made a technocrat minister as he pulled himself out of the electoral race.
The constituency is comprised of Kotwali and has a total of 391,612 voters.
Awami League frontrunners
This time Awami League will try hard to regain the constituency.
The aspirants are: Nurul Islam BSc, former city mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury's son and Awami League's Central Organizing Secretary Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury Nowfel, and Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) Chairman and the party’s city unit Treasurer Abdus Salam.
Nurul Islam BSc expressed his desire to enter the electoral fray if he got the party's nod.
"Although I pulled myself out of the electoral race last time, I continued to work for the development of the area. I have a good rapport with my party fellows and I am hopeful of winning the race," he said.
Another aspirant Nowfel said: "I will contest from any constituency I am asked to by my party. However, many of my well-wishers think it would be better if I contest from the Chittagong 9 constituency. I am confident that I will be able to serve better as a public representative."
Abdus Salam said he withdrew his candidacy in 2008 and 2014, complying with the party decision.
"I have been serving the city’s citizens for the last 10 years as the CDA chairman. I hope that my party will nominate me to contest the upcoming general election from either the Chittagong 9 or 10 constituency," said the Awami League leader.
He said he would be able to do more for the welfare of the people if elected an MP.
Lone aspirant from BNP
BNP's city unit President Dr Shahadat Hossain is the lone nomination seeker from this constituency.
He said his nomination was confirmed in the 2008 election but stepped aside, as he was interested in the mayoral election.
Shahadat said if the party decides to participate in the election he would contest from this constituency.
“But the present situation is not congenial for electioneering, as we are being implicated in false cases. We will take part in the upcoming parliamentary election if there is a level playing field and the arrest spree is stopped,” he said.
The BNP leader said if he is elected a lawmaker, he would work for the people.
Jatiya Party incumbent hopeful
Current MP Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu is again seeking a nomination for the upcoming election, and is busy campaigning.
If a coalition is formed between Awami League and Jatiya Party, he will contest in the election, and if the party decides to field candidates in all 300 constituencies, he will vie from the constituency.
JP Presidium Member Solaiman Alam Seth said Ziauddin implemented many development projects in his constituency in the last five years.
"Kotwali is an important constituency for Chittagong and we do not want to lose it. Our party is now much stronger. We practice politics for the people, and the development work will continue if Ziauddin is elected again," said the JP leader.
When will the election be held?
The 11th national election is scheduled to be held during the last week of December. The Election Commission is expected to announce the election date shortly.