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22 March, 2020 12:19:56 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 March, 2020 11:27:23 AM

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EC postpones CCC elections, 2 by-polls

3 AL candidates win as low turnout marks Dhaka-10, Gaibandha-3, Bagerhat-4 by-polls
Staff Reporter, Dhaka
EC postpones CCC elections, 2 by-polls

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday suspended the upcoming elections to Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) and the by-polls to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 Jatiya Sangsad seats in view of the coronavirus outbreak. By-polls to Dhaka-10, Gaibandha-3 and Bagerhat-4 constituencies were held yesterday with very low turnout of voters.

Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, the Awami League candidate for the Dhaka-10 parliamentary seat, won the by-election bagging 15,955 votes while Awami League candidates Amirul Alam Milon and Umme Kulsum won the by-polls in Bagerhat-4 and Gaibandha-3 constituencies respectively.Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin won the polls in Dhaka-10 with his nearest rival, BNP’s Sheikh Rabiul Alam, bagging 817 votes.

A total of 16,995 voters or 5.28 percent out of over 320,000 cast their votes in the constituency yesterday.

The by-election for the Dhaka-10 constituency was held yesterday (Saturday) amid a very low voter turnout, as fears of the coronavirus, which has so far killed at least two persons and infected 24 in the country, kept most people away from polling centres.  The Jatiya Sangsad by-elections in the three constituencies began at 9am and continued till 5pm. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used in Dhaka-10, while ballot papers were used in the other two constituencies.

Earlier in the day, the Awami League (AL) candidate for the Dhaka-10 by-poll, Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, failed to cast his vote as his fingerprint did not match the server information, said an assistant presiding officer. Mohiuddin went to cast his vote at the Lake Circus Girls’ High School in Kalabagan in the morning and tried to exercise his right through the electronic voting machine (EVM), the official said.

While visiting the New Model Bohumukhi Uchcha Bidyaloy centre, Mohiuddin told reporters that he could not vote due to a “technical glitch”. “I have informed the polling officials that I will cast my vote later,” he said. About the low turnout of voters, Mohiuddin said there is panic among people and that is the reason behind the low turnout.

The BNP candidate, Sheikh Rabiul Alam, in the morning expressed concern over whether voters would be able to peacefully cast their votes in the by-polls for the Dhaka-10 parliamentary seat. He expressed his worries after casting his vote at the Dhanmondi Govt Primary School around 9:15am.

“I am lucky that I was able to cast my vote as a candidate. But I don’t know whether voters of Dhaka-10 would be so fortunate,” Rabiul said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cast her vote in the by-poll for the Dhaka-10 constituency by using the EVM at the Dhaka City College centre at Dhanmondi at 9:10am. Her daughter, Saima Wazed Hossain, too was present.

The Dhaka-10 constituency fell vacant after AL lawmaker, barrister Sheikh Fazley Noor Taposh, resigned on December 29 to contest for the mayoral post in the Dhaka South City Corporation election.  The Awami League and the Jatiya Party were contesting from all the three constituencies, but the BNP was running in two constituencies—Dhaka-10 and Gaibandha-3.

There were 316,510 voters and 143 polling stations in the Bagherhat-4 (Morelganj and Sharankhola upazilas) constituency, which fell vacant following the death of AL lawmaker Mozammel Hossain on January 10.

Two candidates—the AL’s Md Amirul Alam Milon and the Jatiya Party’s Sajon Kumar—are competing in the Bagerhat-4 by-poll.

The EC secretary said Dhaka-10, Gaibandha-3 and Bagerhat-4 were at a stage where only voting was pending. For this, voting was not cancelled considering the health risk. All centres had adequate hand sanitisers and tissue papers and were instructed to use them. Regarding the postponement of CCC and the by-polls to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 the EC secretary said elections were not postponed due to pressure from anyone, but because it was deemed necessary.

The commission had on February 6 announced the by-election schedule for the three parliamentary constituencies. There is a constitutional obligation for the EC to complete a parliamentary by-election within 90 days after the constituency concerned falls vacant.

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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