Sylhet City Election: Main Headline: Revote in two Sylhet centres on August 11
12:00 AM, August 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:37 AM, August 02, 2018

Revote in two Sylhet centres on August 11

'Wrong candidate', intra-party feud among reasons for AL failure

Revote at two polling centres in Sylhet City Corporation will be held on August 11.

The Election Commission ordered the partial revote for the posts of mayor, ward councillor and women's reserved councillor at two centres where polling was cancelled due to violence.

A letter signed by EC Joint Secretary Farhad Ahmed Khan was sent to the returning officer concerned yesterday.

Polling at the city's two centres, which have 4,787 listed voters, was suspended due to violence on July 30. In the rest of the centres, BNP mayoral nominee Ariful Haque Chowdhury is leading by a small margin of 4,626 votes. He secured 90,496 votes.

The two centres are Shah Gazi Syed Borhanuddin Madrasa under ward 24 and Habinandi Government Primary School under ward 27.

"I visited both the centres today and talked to the voters. I know that I will win majority votes in these centres," Ariful told The Daily Star.

His AL counterpart Kamran, who got 85,870 votes, said, "We asked the EC to revote at 17 centres, but they decided to do it in the cancelled ones only. Now our election management committee will make decisions. I have nothing to say."

Although Ariful has not been pronounced mayor yet, he is working on cleaning the city.

The corporation started taking down his campaign posters following his request yesterday afternoon. 

“It was my responsibility to remove the posters as my supporters put these. I hope all the candidates will remove their posters to make the city neat and clean,” he said.

WHY DID KAMRAN FAIL?

Nominating the wrong person, intra-party rifts and Ariful's popularity, have led to the failure of AL, according to several AL and BNP leaders, civil society representatives and voters.

Abdul Karim Kim, coordinator of a citizen's platform in Sylhet, said, “AL selected the wrong man here. After his 17 years in the Nagar Bhaban, people rejected him in 2013 for his not-so-development-friendly stances. The AL should have chosen a new face.”

Many grassroots leaders of the AL and several central leaders had earlier said Kamran should not be nominated. The party decision frustrated them, creating a rift within the AL, said party insiders.

Besides, there were serious feuds between the nominee and the campaign committee.

Party insiders said many AL leaders, including AL central Organising Secretary Misbah Uddin Siraj, acting president of district AL Lutfur Rahman, and city AL General Secretary Asad Uddin Ahmed, did not work enough for Kamran.

Asad, also member secretary of the AL campaign committee, admitted agreed that there was miscommunication between the candidate and the committee.

But Siraj disagreed, saying, “The party selected the right person, but people rejected him. This is the beauty of democracy.”

Moreover, filing cases against the BNP members before the election, fear of election rigging by the ruling party, prohibiting voters to carry mobile phone inside polling centres without prior notice and many other issues also swayed the undecided voters in favour of Ariful, said many voters.

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