Main opposition Awami League (AL) candidate Zahid Ahsan Russell swept Gazipur-2 parliamentary by-elections yesterday, defeating ruling BNP-led four-party alliance candidate MA Mannan by a huge difference of 47,933 votes.
Russell, elder son of assassinated lawmaker from the seat Ahsanullah Master, polled 1,72,658 or 55.19 percent of the votes against Mannan's 1,24,725 or 39.87 percent in the prestige polls that saw a 57.26 percent turnout, according to unofficial results declared by the returning officer's office.
The election, held in a festive holiday atmosphere, allayed fears of a repeat of the controversial Dhaka-10 by-polls on July 1 won by alliance candidate Mosaddak Ali Falu.
Jatiya Party (Ershad) candidate Kazi Mahmud Hasan trailed the heavyweights with 13,562 ballots in an election that saw 3,12,809 valid votes cast out of a total of 5,46,293.
After boycotting three consecutive by-elections -- Kustia-1, Munshiganj- 1 and Dhaka-10 -- the main opposition participated in a poll for the second time under the Khaleda Zia administration. This was the 16th by-poll of the incumbent eighth parliament that came into being in 2001.