AL candidate Mohiuddin wins Dhaka-10 by-election, turnout 5.28pc 

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-03-21 20:39:49 BdST


Business leader Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, the Awami League candidate for the Dhaka-10 parliamentary seat, has won the by-election after bagging 15,955 votes with the coronavirus outbreak hitting the turnout hard.

His nearest rival, the BNP’s Sheikh Rabiul Alam, got 817 votes as a total of 16,995 voters or 5.28 percent out of over 320,000 cast their votes in the constituency on Saturday.

None of the four other candidates could manage more than 100 votes.

The commission arranged hand sanitisers for the voters while polling officers received masks and gloves as well, but the efforts were not enough to encourage the voters to brave the coronavirus fears.

The election came at a time when people are advised to practise social distancing. The BNP demanded deferring the polls but the EC did not budge.

Rabiul also alleged that Awami League leaders and supporters joined forces with the law enforcers to bar the BNP polling agents from entering the voting stations.

“I am lucky that I was able to cast my vote as a candidate. But I don’t know whether voters of Dhaka-10 parliamentary seat would be so fortunate,” Rabiul said.

Mohiuddin could not vote initially due to complexities over his address, but finally he cast his vote.

The government’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research had advised the EC against using electronic voting machines in the polls as touching the same buttons by many people raises the risk of a further outbreak.

Humayun Kawser, a presiding officer, said only a few female voters came to his station for voting. There was no female voter at one of the six booths for them until 3pm. The voting was held from 9am to 5pm.

“The voters are panicked. They are afraid of placing their fingers on the machines out of fear of coronavirus infection,” said Ariful Islam Hanif, an assistant presiding officer.