Bangladesh Awami League’s A H M Khairuzzaman Liton has won the Rajshahi mayor race while Serniabat Sadiq Abullah is set to win in Barishal by huge margin. In the northeastern city of Sylhet, the race hangs over postponed voting with Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s Ariful Haque Chowdhury taking a lead of 4,626 votes, local media reports said.
Polls in the three cities were held on Monday (Jul 30) amid allegations of widespread vote rigging, scattered disturbances and boycotts.
The BNP blamed that the ruling party was blatantly engaged in outrageous cheating while the Awami League brushed aside the claims saying that the BNP’s sole objective was to make an issue out of the polls.
Chief Election Commission K M Nurul Huda, however, played down the rigging allegations and said the elections were largely fair. “Apart from some sporadic incidents in Barishal and Sylhet, the election was fair,” he told the media after the polls closed on Monday.
In Rajshahi, ruling Bangladesh Awami League’s Liton won by a margin of 87,396 votes. Liton bagged 165,096 votes while his closest contender BNP’s Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul clinched 77,700 votes.
BNP’s Bulbul, however, has demanded a fresh election on allegations of large-scale rigging and irregularities. He filed an official complaint with the returning officer and the regional election in the evening before announcing it in a media call.
In the southern city of Barishal, Awami League’s Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah is on course to win by a huge margin. He clinched 107,353 votes while his closest contender BNP’s Mojibur Ragman Sarwar got a meagre 13,135 votes.
Results were announced for 107 centres out of the 123 centres. The Election Commission suspended voting in 15 centres amid allegation of irregularities while results of the remaining one were frozen.
The number of voters in those centres is 31,287, which means it will not affect the final results of the mayoral race.
In Sylhet, BNP’s Ariful Haque Chowdhury has taken a lead of 4,626 votes with officials suspending the results over postponed voting in two centres with 4,787 votes.
Based on results of 132 polling centres out of 134, Ariful bagged 90,496 votes while Kamran got 85,870 votes.