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Polls were free, fair

Bangladesh Nationalist Party has alleged irregularities in Rangpur City Corporation elections held on Thursday, but majority of political parties and analysts think the polls were free, fair and credible.

They say the Election Commission has set an example of holding election in a free, fair and credible manner, dispelling the fear of vote rigging, particularly among the BNP leaders and activists.

Jatiya Party mayoral candidate Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa bagged 1,60,489 votes while his nearest contestant Sharfuddin Ahmed Jhantu of the ruling Awami League secured 62,400 votes and BNP aspirant Kawsar Zaman Babla 35,136 votes in the election.

BNP candidate was in the third position.

Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam said there are 393,994 voters in the city and some 65-70 per cent of them exercised their franchise.

The mayoral election was held under party symbols as the government amended the local government law in 2015 paving the way for the registered political parties to nominate mayoral candidates in city polls.

The Ruling Awami League has already congratulated the Jatiya Party, main opposition in parliament, for its candidate nearing victory in the polls with a huge margin.

AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader termed the election result a victory of the democracy.

“Though the Awami League has been defeated in Rangpur City Corporation polls, it is a victory of politics and victory of democracy… “It’s an example of holding credible, neutral and peaceful elections. It’s also a message for the BNP ahead of the next parliamentary elections,” he said.

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