Bangladesh opposition BNP candidate Monirul Haque Sakku won the Comilla City Corporation mayoral polls despite alleged ballot-stuffing in at least a dozen polling centres by supporters of his main challenger from the Awami League on Thursday.
Monirul bagged 68,948 votes while his rival Anjum Sultana Sima got 57,863 votes in the polls that turned into a “battle of prestige” between the two archrivals — the AL and the BNP.
Announcing the results at the city’s Town Hall Auditorium, Returning Officer Rakibuddin Mondol said 1,32,690 ballots were cast in 101 of the 103 voting centres, and 4,830 of those were cancelled. And voter turnout was 63.92 percent.
Polling at two centres was suspended as the situation went beyond control there.
The city corporation election was considered by political observers as the acid test for the new Election Commission.
Five years ago, Monirul won the maiden CCC mayoral polls by defeating Anjum’s father Afzal Khan who was backed by the AL. Monirul has again emerged victorious and secured the mayoral post for another five years.
Talking to this correspondent over the phone around 10:30pm yesterday, Anjum said people cast ballots for the candidate they considered competent. “I accept the people’s verdict.”
Earlier in the day, ruling AL men allegedly captured at least a dozen polling stations and stuffed ballot boxes to ensure win for their mayoral candidate.
The polling, however, was largely peaceful.