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Dhaka city polls: AL councillor candidate wins after vote recount

  • Published at 11:34 pm February 10th, 2020
EVM Dhaka City Polls 2020
Photo shows an a voter voting using EVM in the Dhaka City Polls 2020 on Saturday, February 1, 2020 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

It was a mistake made by the presiding officer, not the electronic voting machine (EVM), returning officer says

The Election Commission has declared Awami League-backed Ward 31 councillor candidate Sheikh Md Alamgir the winner in the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) election following a recount of votes.

Returning Officer (RO) Abdul Baten made the announcement at the media centre of Nirbachan Bhaban in Dhaka on Monday.

He said it had been a mistake made by the presiding officer, not the electronic voting machine (EVM).

The DSCC and the Dhaka North City Corporation (DSCC) elections were held on February 1 when Ward 31 councillor candidate Jubaid Adel with the tiffin carrier symbol was declared the winner.

It was declared at the time that Adel had bagged 2,445 votes against Alamgir’s 2,235 votes.

However, the fresh result was announced after Sheikh Alamgir, who contested the polls with the basket symbol, challenged the results. 

It was a mistake by the presiding officer to announce Jubaid Adel as the winner on February 1, said the returning officer.

In his complaint submitted to the commission, Alamgir mentioned irregularities in vote counting at the Armanitola High School male polling station (centre number 520).

Alamgir claimed that his votes were added to Eros Ahmed (watch symbol), a councillor contestant, while the votes of Eros were included with those of Alamgir.

Although the presiding officer announced mistakenly that Eros Ahmed had got 1,675 votes, he actually got 212 votes while Sheikh Alamgir bagged 419 votes, according to EVM, in the polling centre, the RO explained.

After the complaint made by Alamgir, it was found that the actual result of the candidate and the announcement of the presiding officer were different, said Baten. 

"Later, we postponed the result and the presiding officer told the Election Commission that it was a mistake in writing. But the result of the electronic voting machine (EVM) was correct and we accepted the result." 

"As Sheikh Md Alamgir's basket symbol received a maximum of 2,472 votes in all nine centers, I have declared him the winner in the election," said the returning officer.

For his part, Jubaid Adel objected to the fresh decision and refused to accept the new result.

"I do not accept the result," he told reporters, adding that, "I was declared the winner and I have documents of the result announced by the Election Commission." 

"I must go to court against the decision."

When asked, Brig Gen Mohammad Saidul Islam, director general of the National Identity Registration (NID) Wing, said: "EVM is a new method which may cause some confusion.

"But it is more reliable than all previous methods. Besides, all results, fingerprints, NID information are stored in an audit card," he added.