Awami League candidate Atiqul Islam has unofficially been declared mayor-elect after the counting of votes in the by-election to the mayoral post of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) on Thursday.
Returning officer Abul Kashem declared the results after the completion of the counting all 1,295 centres at 1:30am (early Friday) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Ruling Awami League nominated Atiqul Islam with ‘Boat’ symbol bagged 8,39,302 votes while his nearest contender Shafin Ahmed of Jatiya Party polled 52,429 votes with the symbol of ‘Plough’.
Returning officer also informed that the voter turnover rate was counted 31.05 percent.
Earlier, voting in the by-election to the DNCC mayoral post and polls to councillor posts in its 18 new wards and 18 other new wards of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) concluded on Thursday afternoon amid low voter turnout.
The balloting that began at 8am ended at 4pm.
Atiqul Islam cast his vote around 9:10 am at Nawab Habibullah Model School and College polling centre in city’s Uttara area.
Singer Shafin Ahmed cast his vote at Manarat International School centre in the city’s Gulshan area around 12:20pm.
Visiting different polling stations, it was seen that the voter turnout was poor in the morning due to rain since early Thursday.
However, voter presence was relatively higher in the elections to councillor posts in the new wards.
Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said the low voter turnout in the ongoing elections to the two city corporations is not the liability of the Commission.
“It's the responsibility of candidates and political parties to bring voters to polling centres,” he said while talking to reporters after casting his vote at IES School and College Polling Station in the city’s Uttara area.
In the DNCC, five candidates vied for the mayoral post, while 116 contenders for 18 general councillor posts and 45 aspirants for six reserved seats which are exclusively for women. Of them, one general councillor candidate was elected unopposed in the city.
The three other mayoral candidates are NPP’s Anisur Rahman (Mango) and PDP’s Shahin Khan (Tiger) and independent runner Abdur Rahim (Table Clock).
The mayoral post fell vacant after former mayor AnnisulHuq passed away on November 30, 2017. The last mayoral election held on April 28, 2015 saw a high-octane campaign by both Awami League’s Annisul and BNP’s TabithAwal unlike this by-election.
In the DSCC, there were 125 contestants for 18 general councillor posts and 24 women for six reserved seats.