BNP selects Tabith for DNCC by-polls

BNP has finalized its selection of Tabith Mohammed Awal as the mayoral candidate for the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) by-polls.

The party’s Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made the announcement around 11:15pm on Monday after a meeting of the BNP nomination board.

The board, headed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, took the final decision after interviewing the five nomination seekers at the chairperson’s office in Gulshan.

BNP central executive committee member Tabith, the son of BNP leader and business tycoon Abdul Awal Mintoo, had an unsuccessful run against late mayor Annisul Haque in 2015, losing by almost 135,000 votes.

Competing against Tabith for BNP’s nomination were Dhaka city (North) unit President MA Quayum; Dhaka city (North) unit Assistant Publication Secretary Shakil Wahed; BNP’s central leader Asaduzzaman Ripon and BNP leader Maj (retd) Akhtaruzzaman.

They had submitted their nomination forms to the BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters on Monday.

Meanwhile, until Monday, 18 people seeking Awami League’s candidacy to run for the DNCC mayor post submitted their nomination papers to Office Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap at the ruling party president’s political office in Dhanmondi.

Those who submitted the forms are: former BGMEA president Atiqul Islam; Bangabandhu researcher and poet Russell Ashequi; Abaid Monsur, businessman and son-in-law of former communications minister Abul Hossain; Maj (retd) Yead Al Fakir; Awami League Tejgaon upazila unit General Secretary Shamim Hasan; Momtaz Uddin Ahmed Mehedi; Abul Bashar; Haque Group MD Adam Tamizi Haque; Dhaka University teacher Jobair Alam; former lawmaker HBM Iqbal; Mohammad Shah Alam; Farhad Hossain, Helaluddin Helal, Osman Gani, Jaman Bhuiyan, Asma Jerin Jhumu, Shaheen Haque and Jebin Sultana Kanta.

The ruling party will formally pick their candidate after a meeting of its Local Government Nomination Board on Tuesday at Ganabhaban, the official residence of party chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The DNCC by-election is scheduled to be held on February 26. The nominated candidates will fight for the DNCC mayor post which fell vacant on November 30 last year through the death of Annisul Huq, the first ever DNCC mayor.

Annisul, also a former president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, had won the polls as an Awami League-endorsed candidate in 2015.

The Election Commission on February 26 will also arrange polls for the 36 councillor posts and 12 reserved seats in the 36 new wards of DNCC, which has some 2.95 million voters.

According to the commission, January 18 is the last date for the submission of nomination papers by DNCC by-polls contenders. Anyone willing to pull out of the mayoral race will have to do so by January 29.

According to the schedule, nomination papers will be scrutinized between January 21 and 22. The commission will allocate electoral symbols on January 30.