AL picks Atiqul for DNCC, Syed Ashraf’s sister Lipi for Kishorganj-1 seat polls

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Dhaka, Jan 26: Atiqul Islam, the former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), has been picked by the ruling Awami League to vie the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) by-polls slated for February 28.The ruling party also nominated Syeda Zakia Nur Lipi, sister of former AL general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, to contest the Kishoreganj-1 by-election.

The decisions were taken at a joint meeting of AL Parliamentary Board (ALPB) and AL Local Government Nomination Board meeting, with party President Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her official residence the Ganabhaban in the capital yesterday.

The party president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina interviewed the aspirants who sought AL nominations. A total of 10 aspirants—including business leaders Atiqul Islam and Khairul Majid and poet Russel Ashequi— had collected Awami League nomination forms for contesting the DNCC by-election.

Seven aspirants collected nomination forms for Kishoreganj-1 election. Talking to The Independent, AL Office Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap said the board unanimously chose business leader Atiqul Islam.

AL President Sheikh Hasina also urged all to work together to ensure party candidate Atiqul’s victory in the ensuring DNCC by-elections, Golap added.

The EC on January 22 announced the election schedule.

According to the polls schedule, the last date for filing nomination papers for both in the DNCC by-polls and election to the new wards is January 30. The returning officers will scrutinise the nomination papers on February 2, and the last date for withdrawing candidacy is February 9.

The size of the DNCC electorate is just over 2.9 million, spread across its 54 wards.

The commission announced the fresh schedule as the High Court lifted its stay orders on holding the polls. On January 16, the court cleared the way for the DNCC by-election and election in the new wards.

The DNCC mayoral post fell vacant following the death of Annisul Huq on November 30, 2017. He was elected mayor on April 28, 2015. On January 9 last year, the EC had declared the schedule of the DNCC by-polls and election in the new wards, setting February 26 for the voting day.

However, the polls were not held as the HC stayed the election schedule for six months. The court order came following filing of three writ petitions that challenged the legality of the schedule.

BNP won’t contest polls

BNP has decided not to participate in the upcoming upazila election and the by-polls to the vacant mayoral post of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir disclosed the decision after a meeting of the party’s standing committee members at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office on Thursday.

“We’ve taken a decision that we’re not taking part in the upazila polls and the DNCC by-election. We think elections under the current government and the Election Commission will only turn into a farce,” he had said.

Kishoreganj-1 polls

The AL also picked Syed Ashraful Islam’s younger sister Zakia Nur Lipi as its candidate for contesting Kishoreganj-1 by polls scheduled for February 28. The parliamentary seat fell vacant as AL lawmaker Syed Ashraful Islam, also former party general secretary and public administration minister, passed away on January 3.

He died four days after the December 30 polls. He could not take oath due to illness.

As per the schedule, the last date for submitting nomination papers has been fixed for January 31. The nomination papers will be scrutinised on February 3, and the last date for withdrawing those is February 10.

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