Jatiya Party-backed mayoral candidate Md Mostafizur Rahman Mostafa on Tuesday unofficially won the high-voltage Rangpur City Corporation (RpCC) election for the second consecutive time.
Mostafa bagged 1, 46,798 votes while his nearest contestant Amiruzzaman from Islami Andolon Bangladesh polled 49,892 votes.
His lead over the ruling Awami League’s candidate Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia was a huge margin of 1, 24,492 votes.
Independent candidate (AL’s rebel candidate) Latifur Rahman bagged 33,883 votes by securing the third position in the race while the AL-backed candidate was in the 4th spot.
Returning officer Abdul Baten announced the results from the district’s Shilpakala Academy around 12.15am when the vote counting was completed.
Out of the 9 mayoral candidates, Mostafa contested the election with the “Plough” symbol while Amiruzzaman from Islami Andolon Bangladesh with the “Hat Pakha” symbol. Rangpur is known as a stronghold of the Jatiya Party as the party’s founder late HM Ershad hailed from the district.
The returning officer said over 2, 79,000 out of 426,470 exercised cast their franchises in the RpCC elections with 65.8 per cent turnover.
The voting in RpCC election started around 8.00am using electronic voting machines (EVMs) at 229 centres and continued till around 4.30pm.
Nine candidates vied for the mayoral post while 183 people contested for councillor posts under 33 wards. 68 candidates fought the polls for 11 reserved seats.
The other mayoral candidates are Abu Raihan from Bangladesh Congress, Touhidur Rahman Mandal from Khelafat Majlish, Shafier Rahman from Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Khorshed Alam from Zaker Party and Mehedi Hasan as an independent candidate.
After the landslide victory, Mostafizur in an instant reaction said it is not his victory, rather the credit goes to the city dwellers.
Campaigning in the Rangpur City Corporation election ended on Sunday at midnight amid much enthusiasm.
A total of 229 presiding officers, 1,349 assistant presiding officers and 2,698 polling officers are performing their duties to maintain order in the voting centres.
The first Rangpur City Corporation election was held on December 21, 2017. The tenure of the current mayor will expire on February 18, 2023.
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, CEC Kazi Habibul Awal said the voting was underway at a slow pace for using EVMs.
The voting might continue till 7-8 pm due to the long queues at the polling centres, he added.
The EC would look into whether there is any other reason behind the delay in voting, he added.
“We have got some allegations of slow voting due to electronic voting machines (EVMs) but all the voters at the centres will be allowed to exercise their franchise till night,” he said.
The Election Commission was monitoring the election through CC cameras from a control room.
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