Awami League mayoral candidate, Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran, lost to BNP candidate Ariful Haque Chowdhury in the Sylhet city polls.
General Secretary of Awami League, Obaidul Quader, blamed the lack of organizational presence and internal party conflicts for the ruling party's defeat at the Sylhet City Corporation election.
Awami League mayoral candidate, Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran, lost to BNP candidate Ariful Haque Chowdhury in the Sylhet city polls. Kamran bagged a total of 85,870 votes while Ariful won 90,496 votes at 132 polling centres out of 134.
Voting at the two remaining centres was suspended due to sporadic irregularities. 55% of voters cast their votes during the polls, according to the Election Commission.
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During the post-election review, Awami League leaders came to the conclusion their candidate was defeated at the polls because of internal conflicts among local leaders and party activists, and blamed organizational weakness.
At a press conference on Tuesday, General Secretary Obaidul Quader said: "Just like in Comilla, we were defeated in the Sylhet city polls due to organizational weaknesses. We tried to solve the matter, and the close competition shows we have come far in solving this problem."
In the 2013 election, Kamran lost to BNP candidate Arifurwith a huge margin, but this time, he almost got the same number of votes as Arifur, Quader claimed.
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"I have said this several times before: if we stand together and can keep unity inside the party, no one will be able to defeat us," said Quader. "The Barisal and Rajshahi city polls showed us that."
Quader claimed BNP tried to raise questions about the election, but people from all spheres of life rejected them.
"People rejected BNP for their politics, which is fraught with negativity," he said. "But they elected Awami League because they want the country to witness development."