Awami League’s Mahmud Hasan wins Gaibandha-5 by-polls

Mahmud Hasan Ripon

Awami League-backed candidate Mahmud Hasan Ripon unofficially won the by-election to Gaibandha-5, held on Wednesday, reports UNB.

Ripon won the election by defeating Jatiya Party-backed candidate AHM Golam Shaheed Ranju with a margin of 33,533 votes.

The winning candidate bagged 78,285 votes with the boat symbol while Ranju got 44,752 votes with the plough symbol.

The other candidates of the by-election were Bikalpa Dhara candidate Jahangir Alam and independent candidate Syed Mahbubur Rahman.

Voting started at 8:00am and continued until 4:30pm. No untoward incident was reported.

The election was monitored from Dhaka through 1,242 CCTV cameras while it ended with only a 35 per cent turnout.

The constituency consists of Saghata and Phulchhari upazilas.

On 12 October last year, the election commission (EC) suspended the by-election due to “rampant irregularities” on the voting day and later the commission fixed 4 January for holding the polls.

Following the death of Gaibandha-5 lawmaker and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Fazle Rabbi Miah on 22 July 2022, it became a constitutional obligation to hold election for the parliamentary seat by 20 October 2022. Accordingly it was scheduled for 12 October.

A three-member committee was formed to look into the election irregularities on 12 October last year.

Following the recommendations of the committee, the election commission took punitive actions against 133 officials including an additional deputy commissioner, five sub-inspectors and returning officer of the election.