Creating history, Awami League candidate Dr Selina Hayat Ivy has unofficially been elected mayor of Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) for the third consecutive term.
According to unofficial results, Ivy bagged 161,273 votes with ‘Boat’ while her nearest rival Taimur Alam Khandaker, a BNP veteran who was expelled from the party for joining the polls as an independent runner, polled 92,171 with ‘Elephant’ in the elections held on Sunday in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
Returning Officer Mahfuza Akhtar unofficially declared Ivy as the winner from the deputy commissioner’s office at night.
Ivy’s supporters, who gathered in front of her residence at Deobhog in the city, burst into joy as soon as the results were announced.
The mayor-elect also flashed V sign after coming of her residence around 8:30pm.
With this, Ivy has become the first person to become the mayor of a city in the country for the third time.
In an instant reaction, Ivy expressed her gratitude to Almighty Allah, her party, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the people of Narayanganj for her victory in the polls.
Ivy also said the victory proved that the soil of Narayanganj is a stronghold of Awami League as people of the area never frustrate the party.
In his reaction, Taimur said this was not his defeat but of the government. “I’ve become victorious with the love of the people,” he said, expressing his gratitude to the people and media.
Earlier, voting took place without any untoward incident when people voted for the candidates of their choice in a festive manner.
Ivy cast her vote at Deobhog Kalarab polling centre around 9:30am while Taimur at Masdir Islami Fazil Madrasa around 10:00am.
The widely acclaimed peaceful ambience in which the voting was held belied the often repeated allegations of oppositions that no free and fair election can be held under the Awami League government and the incumbent Election Commission.
Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder, who was always critical of many previous elections under their tenure, termed the NCC polls best one of the incumbent EC. “Many city corporation elections were held in the last five years… to me, election to Narayanganj City Corporation is the best after Cumilla City Corporation in our tenure,” he told reporters at a briefing.
Apart from the two heavyweight candidates, five other mayoral contenders, mostly from tiny political parties, contested the polls.
A total of 148 candidates contested for 27 councillor posts while 34 vied for nine seats reserved for women.
Voting started at 192 centres at 8:00am and ended at 4:00pm. It was for the first time that the entire voting in the NCC polls was held using EVMs.
While casting votes, many expressed their satisfaction while some faced difficulties using EVMs due to mismatch of fingerprints.
EC Secretary Humayun Kabir Khandaker told reporters that the elections were held in a free, fair and peaceful manner. “No allegation of irregularities was reported,” he said.
Asked about the use of EVMs, he said, “Many faced problems while casting votes through EVMs. But they were given the scope of casting their votes even after the voting time,” he said.
Some 517,361 voters -- 259,846 men, 257,511 women and four third gender ones -- were eligible to exercise their franchise in the polls.
Ivy was re-elected as NCC mayor in 2016 contesting the polls with ‘Boat’ symbol. She became the NCC mayor first in 2011 defeating AL heavyweight Shamim Osman.
The voter turnout was 69 percent in 2011 while 62.33 percent in 2016.