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BNP's Arif re-elected as Sylhet mayor

  • Published at 01:04 am August 12th, 2018
Sylhet Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury
BNP mayoral candidate Ariful Haque Chowdhury shows the victory sign after the unofficial announcement of Sylhet City polls result on Saturday, August 11, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

Five persons were detained while trying to cast fake votes at the Gazi Borhanuddin Dewan Primary School centre

Ariful Haque Chowdhury was re-elected mayor of Sylhet for a second term, in the first electoral victory for BNP in a year.

Ariful beat his closest contender, Awami League's Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran, by 6,196 votes.

Sylhet City Corporation election was held under political banner for the first time, simultaneously with Barisal and Rajshahi city polls, on July 30.

Votes were suspended in two centres by the Election Commission due to irregularities, leaving Ariful, who was already ahead by 4,626 votes, without a verdict. 

Voting was held in 16 poll centres yesterday, including the two suspended ones. 

At the end of the day, the returning officer announced that Ariful received 2,093 votes and Kamran 527 in those two centres.

Returning Officer Md Alimuzzaman said voting was also held for councillor and reserved seat councillor posts in these centres.

In the other 14 centres, which were in ward 7, re-election was held for a reserved councillor seat between Naznin Aktar Kona and Nargis Sultana, as they had obtained equal votes in the first election. This time around, Kona won the seat with a 1.364 vote lead.

During the votes the two candidates inspected the centres. Kamran told journalists that the voting was peaceful and said he would accept the people's verdict.

Law enforcement maintained a tight security blanket at the centres. Five persons were detained while trying to cast fake votes at the Gazi Borhanuddin Dewan Primary School centre.

Kamran, speaking to journalists in the evening, congratulated Ariful and assured that he would extend all possible support in the development of the city.

Md Alimuzzaman said the re-election in the two centres was peaceful and fair.

Ariful, a veteran BNP man and currently a central leader of the party, has been involved with the city's administration for almost 15 years.

He became a commissioner in the Sylhet City Corporation in 2003. His political career began with Chhatra Dal, the BNP student wing. He then went on to become the president of the city unit of BNP and then the general secretary of the district unit.

At that time Ariful served as the chairman of the city development and planning committee. In the third Sylhet city polls held in 2013, he beat Kamran by a large margin to become the Sylhet mayor.