New mayor to give Dhaka North a new look

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Dhaka, Mar 01: The Dhaka North’s newly elected mayor on Friday pledged to give his part of the city a new look after a landslide victory in the by-election the previous day amid heavy rain and a 31.05 percent turnout.“I will work hard to give Dhaka North a new face and also finish the unfinished work of my predecessor Annisul Huq,” Atiqul Islam, a businessman and the new mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), told reporters.

Atiqul bagged 8,39,302 votes while his nearest contestant Jatiya Party’s Shafin Ahmed got 52,429 votes, announced Returning Officer Abul Kashem on Friday.

Among the other mayoral candidates, NPP’s Anisur Rahman (Mango) got 8,695 vote, PDP’s Shahin Khan (Tiger) 8,560 votes, and independent candidate Abdur Rahim (Table Clock) 14,040 votes.

The voter turnout in the DNCC polls were 31.05 percent as 942,539 out of 30,35,599 voters cast their ballots on Thursday while 19,510 votes were found invalid, according to the EC.

The Election Commission said heavy rains was the main reason for not expected turnout, while many residents left Dhaka using the three-day holiday. Thursday was declared a holiday for the mayoral voting.

Meanwhile, the security money of four mayoral candidates including Shafin Ahmed, the famed band singer and son of late celebrated singer Firoza Begum, will be confiscated as he failed to get the minimum votes or one-eight of the votes cast, as per laws.

A total 942,539 out of 30, 35,599 voters casted their vote in the election and one-eighth vote of that is is 1,17,817.

Voting in the by-election to the mayoral post of DNCC and polls to councillor posts in its 18 new wards and 18 other new wards of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) concluded.

The voting that began at 8:00 am ended at 4:00 pm. The BNP, its allies and most other parties stayed away from elections to local government bodies like city corporations and Upazilas after losing the Dec 30 parliamentary polls by a huge margin to the Awami League.

Annisul was elected mayor on April 28 in 2015, but after his sudden death on 30 November 2017 in a London Hospital, the post fell vacant.

The last mayoral election held on April 28, 2015 saw a high-octane campaign by both Awami League’s Annisul and BNP’s Tabith Awal unlike the dull by-election.