Man once removed from office for election corruption wins mayor

Tower Hamlets, London, has voted for Mohammad Lutfur Rahman – removed from office for “corrupt and illegal practices” in a 2014 election – as mayor.

“The people of the municipality made a statement today. I was in the people’s court and they said in a loud voice that they wanted Lutfur Rahman and his team to serve them for the next four years,” the Bangladeshi-born politician crowed after local elections across England on Thursday.

Rahman became Britain’s first directly elected Muslim mayor in the ultra-diverse Tower Hamlets in 2010, amid accusations of improper ties to the group of the radical Islamic Forum of Europe and irregularities in his selection as a Labor candidate (who eventually was withdrawn, forcing him to run for office). as self-employed).

He was re-elected in 2014 but removed from office after four voters charged him with “corrupt and illegal practices” under the Representation of the People Act – the Electoral Commission and police failed to address concerns about the elections – and the courts ruled in their favour.

Judge Richard Mawrey, QC, ruled that Rahman’s agents had “engaged in personification, false registration, double voting, [and] tampering with ballots”, using public funds for “clear election campaigns” and exerting “inappropriate spiritual influence” on Muslim voters, in part through allied Muslim clerics who told them it was “the duty of faithful Muslims to vote for Mr. Rahman”.

Mawrey also discovered that he had used his office for bribery, for example by channeling money to the Bangladeshi media and to Bangladeshi and Muslim organizations that in some cases had not even applied for grants.

Despite his election being quashed in 2014, Mr Rahman has now been re-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets after a five-year ban on his term has expired.

“I want to rebuild Tower Hamlets, I want to invest in our future and give our people a better future than we’ve had in the last seven years,” he claimed.

“Lutfur Rahman’s re-election in Tower Hamlets tells us why we need political reform,” Brexit leader Nigel Farage said on his return to politics.

“Stop voting by mail now and start over,” he added — mail votes factored into Rahman’s 2014 election ruling, with the judge describing evidence that “outlined a pattern of mail voters used by supporters.” of Mr Rahman were asked to vote on their votes by mail” in his statement.

†[In] the 21st century… a combination of the extremely lax rules regarding voter registration and the introduction of mail-on-demand voting made personation [the false impersonation of voters] viable again” in the UK election, the judge lamented elsewhere in the ruling.

Britain’s postal voting system has not changed substantially in recent electoral reforms that mandated voter identification.

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