Jamaat-e-Islami has named its candidate and begun preparing for the Sylhet City Corporation elections even though the polls schedule is still to be announced and alliance partner BNP has not yet started its own discussions.
Advocate Ehsanul Mahbub Jubayer, Sylhet city ameer and also the party’s Central Working Committee member, will stand in the mayoral election, which is due to be held in the first quarter of 2018.
This is despite the High Court cancelling the party’s registration on August 1, 2013.
“I am preparing to contest in the upcoming mayoral election (so) there is a lot do.” Ehsanul said. “I am engaging in public relations and exchanging views.”
When asked if he plans to participate independently in the Sylhet city polls, Ehsanul said: “Participating in an election as part of an alliance is a strategy reserved for the general polls. We cannot participate in the local polls this way.”
He added: “We have participated in the local polls independently in the past. Even if a decision is made to contest in the Sylhet polls as part of an alliance, I am optimistic that I will get the nomination.”
Several Jamaat leaders said that although their mayoral candidate had already begun campaigning, the party will participate in the polls as part of an alliance.
Even so, Jamaat’s move to support its own candidate has raised eyebrows in the BNP-led 20-party alliance.
Several alliance leaders told this correspondent that Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury will “almost certainly” be nominated by the BNP again, but that he might face some hurdles in securing the nomination.
This correspondent could not reach Sylhet Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury for his comments on the matter.
Sylhet District South Ameer Maulana Habibur Rahman said: “The BNP-led alliance will contest in the polls as an alliance (and) we hope to reach a solution on it soon.”
BNP Assistant Organizing Secretary Kalimuddin Ahmed Milon said party Chairperson Khaleda Zia will make the final decision on choosing a mayoral candidate for the Sylhet City Corporation polls.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune