Awami League’s Atiqul takes early lead
The Awami League candidate Atiqul Islam has raced ahead of his nearest rival the Jatiya Party’s Shafin Ahmed by over 235,000 votes in Dhaka North mayoral bypolls, according to results from 382 out of 1,295 centres.
Returning Officer Abul Kashem is announcing the results from centre set up at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre after the voting from 8am to 4pm on Thursday. Businessman Atiqul with ‘boat’ symbol has received 245,990 votes in the 382 centres. Singer Shafin with ‘plough’ polled 9,750.
The others in the fray are National People’s Party or NPP’s Anisur Rahman with ‘mango’ symbol, Progressive Democratic Party or PDP’s Shahin Khan with ‘tiger’ and independent candidate Abdur Rahim with ‘table clock’.
The BNP, its allies and most other parties are staying away from elections to local government bodies like city corporations and Upazilas after losing the Dec 30 parliamentary polls by a huge margin to the Awami League.
The party headed by Khaleda Zia, who is in jail for over a year now for corruption, had demanded fresh polls alleging widespread rigging and intimidation of its candidates and supporters in the general election. Election officials, polling agents, and law-enforcing agents at different centres in the city had nothing to do amidst rains after the voting began at 8am.
Officials expected the voters to come after the rain stopped around 10am, but the polling stations remained empty.
Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said the turnout may finally stand around 50 percent altogether.