Sylhet, May 20: Ariful Haque Chowdhury on Saturday announced he will not participate in the upcoming Sylhet City Corporation elections, ending speculation over his candidacy amid BNP’s decision to boycott the polls.
The city’s current mayor announced his decision on Saturday (20 May) while addressing a rally at Sylhet Registry Ground.
Ariful Haque said, “A fair election is not possible under this government. It is envisioning a plan to steal votes by using electronic voting machines (EVM) in the polls.
“I will not take part in any election under this government,” Ariful told the rally.
According to reliable sources close to Ariful Haque, despite the objections from his party, he expressed interest in becoming a candidate in the upcoming election.
However, before making a final decision, he has taken into account four important considerations.
Firstly, he has contemplated whether he would be able to reintegrate into BNP politics if he were to contest the election against the party’s wishes.
Secondly, he has expressed concerns about the impartiality of the administration overseeing the election process.
Thirdly, since the BNP is boycotting the elections, Arif’s supporters within the party will face limitations in openly participating in the electoral process, including being unable to serve as election agents. This raises concerns about the availability of reliable agents across the 190 centers in the 42 wards.
Lastly, Arif has pondered over the issue of fair voting in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
These four factors have played a significant role in his decision-making process.
So far eight candidates have collected nominations for the election in Sylhet. The last date for submission of nomination papers is 23 May, and the deadline for withdrawal is 1 June.
Meanwhile, Awami League nominated mayoral candidate Anwaruzzaman Chowdhury, Jatiya Party nominated mayoral candidate Nazrul Islam Babul and Islami Andolan Bangladesh’s Mahmudul Hasan have already started holding public activities.