AL candidates win Dhaka-18, Sirajganj-1 by-polls

Awami League candidates Mohammad Habib Hasan and Tanvir Shakil Joy have won the two parliamentary by-elections to Dhaka-18 and Sirajganj-1 constituencies respectively amid a low voter turnout, reports UNB.

The by-polls were held using electronic voting machines (EVMs) on Thursday.

Sirajganj-1 constituency fell vacant after the death of former health minister and Awami League MP Mohammed Nasim on 13 June. Dhaka-18 constituency fell vacant following the death of former home minister and Awami League MP Sahara Khatun on 9 July.

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In Dhaka-18, Habib was unofficially elected, beating his nearest rival BNP’s SM Jahangir Hossain by a huge margin of over 70,000 votes amid a low turnout.

Habib got 75,820 votes, while Jahangir bagged only 5,369, according to the unofficial election result announced by returning officer ZM Sahatab Uddin.

Jatiya Party contestant Md Nasir Uddin Sarkat got 325 votes, Gano Front’s Kazi Md Shahidullah 126 votes, Bangladesh Congress’s Md Umar Faruk 91 votes and PDP’s Md Mohibullah Bahar 87 votes.

The turnout was 14.18 per cent as 81,818 out of total 5,77,116 votes were cast at 217 polling stations in the parliamentary seat comprising 14 wards and airport area under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC). The DNCC wards are 1, 17 and 43-54 located in Uttara and Cantonment and Gulshan Thana.

Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda said the low turnout is a “matter of research”. “Specialists can explain the matter after scrutinising different aspects of local polls and national election,” he said.

In Sirajganj-1, Joy was unofficially elected, beating his nearest rival BNP candidate Md Selim Reza by a huge margin of around 188,000 votes.

Joy secured 188,325 votes, while Selim Reza obtained only 468 votes.

The voter turnout was only 51.76 percent as 188,793 out of total 364,764 votes were cast at 171 polling stations in the constituency comprising Kazipur Upazila and five unions of Sirajganj Sadar upazila.

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