BNP’s Sakku sweeps Comilla city polls

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Comilla: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) mayoral candidate Monirul Haque Sakku won the Comilla City Corporation polls for the second straight term on Thursday defeating his rival Awami League’s Anjuman Sultana Sima with a margin of 11,085 votes.

According to the unofficial results of 101 polling stations out of total 103, Sakku bagged 68,948 votes while his rival Sima polled 57,863 in the second election to Comilla City Corporation.

Returning officer Rakibuddin Mandal declared the unofficial results of 101 polling stations on Thursday night as the voting at two polling stations was postponed.

However, the re-polling will not be required anymore in the two polling stations as the margin between the two mayoral candidates is much higher than the number of voters under the two centres. The total number of voters in the two polling stations is 5,255.

Rakibuddin said they will declare Sakku unofficially elected on Friday at 11:00am at his office.

He called upon the wining mayoral and councilor candidates and their supporters not to bring out any victory rally in the city as it goes against the election code of conduct.

The voting in Comilla City was held from 8am to 4pm amid a festive mood with the huge voter turnout at almost all the polling stations barring a few stray incidents.

Sima cast her ballot at Comilla Modern School Polling Station at 8:50am while Sakku at Hochcha Mia High School polling station around 9:30am.

The maiden election to Comilla City Corporation was held in a non-partisan manner on January 5, 2012 when BNP-backed Sakku was elected the first city mayor defeating AL-supported mayoral candidate Afzal Khan, also Sima’s father, with a margin of some 30,000 votes.

Sakku polled 65,577 votes while his rival Afzal bagged 36,471 votes in the 2012 election.

This year two other mayoral candidates –- Md Mamunur Rashid with ‘Table Clock’ symbol (independent) and Shirin Akter with ‘Star’ symbol (JSD)— were also there in the race as the election to the mayoral post held along the political party line unlikely the ones of councillors’ and reserved seats.

A total of 114 candidates were there in the race for 27 general councillor posts, while 41 women were contesting the election for nine reserved seats.

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Thursday claimed that his commission was ‘100 percent successful’ in earning public trust by holding fair elections to the Comilla City Corporation.

“We’ve become 100 percent successful in earning the trust of all by holding the election in a fair manner. We claim we’ve become successful in this election,” he told a post-election press conference at the Election Commission Secretariat in Dhaka.

The CEC said the election was held in a peaceful atmosphere except one or two stray incidents on Thursday.