Arfanul Haque Rifat gets Awami League nomination for Cumilla city polls

The ruling party has endorsed its Cumilla city unit General Secretary Arfanul Haque Rifat for the Jun 15 mayoral race.

Published : 13 May 2022, 05:54 PM
Updated : 13 May 2022, 05:54 PM

In a crowded pool of 14 nomination seekers, Rifat’s bid for the ticket was validated by party stalwarts at a meeting with Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair on Friday.

Rifat’s main opponent in the race is the current mayor Monirul Haque Sakku, a BNP-supported candidate.

If Sakku retains his mayorship on Jun 15, it will be his third consecutive win against Awami League candidates in successive polls.

Sakku defeated senior Awami League leader Afzal Khan in the maiden election to the city corporation in 2012 and won again against Afzal’s daughter Anjum Sultana Sima, who later had become a parliament member from the reserved seats, in 2017.

In an immediate reaction, Rifat expressed gratitude towards the party chief for having faith in him.

“I will do my best to return the faith she [Sheikh Hasina] has in me by winning the polls on June 15,” he said.

If elected, the leader of the ruling party’s Cumilla unit has also pledged to keep the city hall “open for all”.

“I will not be partisan, rather I will transform the city hall to a ‘Big Tent,’ where citizens from all walks of the city can come to seek services,” Arfanul said.

The newly-formed Election Commission on Apr 25 announced the schedule of polls for the Cumilla city race, along with six other municipalities and 135 Union Parishads.

Electronic voting machines will be used in all the elections.

The deadline for filing nominations is May 17. Symbols will be allocated to candidates on May 27.