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BNP to contest by-polls to Fakhrul’s seat

BNP to contest by-polls to Fakhrul’s seat

Bangladesh Nationalist Party - BNP is going to participate in the by-election to Bogura-6 parliamentary seat, which fell vacant after party Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir decided not to take oath of office.

At a meeting of the BNP-led 20-party alliance on Monday (May 13), Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the party will also nominate a candidate for its reserved seat for women. The meeting was held at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office with Fakhrul in the chair, local media reported.

It is, however, unclear whether the party has picked anyone for contesting the by-polls and the reserved seat.

The BNP-led Jatiyo Oikyafront secured eight seats out of 300 in the 2018 national election. Of them, BNP got six, while its ally Gonoforum bagged two seats.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam contested the election from his home constituency Thakurgaon-1 and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s seat Bogura-6.

Though he was defeated to Awami League candidate Ramesh Chandra Sen in Thakurgaon-1, Fakhrul won the Bogura-6, a stronghold of BNP.

Although BNP and Oikyafront turned down the election bringing various allegations, including that of stuffing ballots the night before voting, seven MPs-elect of the alliance took oath, except Fakhrul.

Of them, four BNP MPs-elect were sworn in on April 29, the last date of taking oath to retain the membership of the 11th parliament intact.

On Apr 30, the parliamentary seat was declared vacant as Fakhrul failed to take oath of office.

The by-polls to Bogura-6 constituency will be held on June 24, according to a schedule announced by the Election Commission on May 8.

According to the by-poll schedule, the deadline for the submission of nomination paper is May 23, while the date for scrutinising nomination paper is May 27 and the last date for the withdrawal of candidature is Jun 3.

The eight-hour balloting period will begin at 9 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. in the by-election while Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used in all the polling stations of the constituency.