BNP has filed an appeal petition with the Election Commission (EC) against the commission's rejection of its chief Khaleda Zia’s nominations in three constituencies.
A six-member team of BNP, led by the party’s law affairs secretary Barrister Kaiser Kamal today submitted the petition.
After submitting the petition Barrister Kaiser Kamal said to the journalists, “We trust the Election Commission and if a fair decision is made we will get the nominations of Khaleda Zia from the EC."
Without Khaleda Zia the upcoming general election would become a farce, he added.
Regarding a High Court verdict about Khaleda Zia’s participation in the election, he said, according to article 66 of our constitution, appeal is continuation of a trial.
Khaleda Zia’s nomination rejection for the graft cases is illegal as appeal is going on in both the cases, he said.
There are many previous examples considering which the EC should accept her nominations if it is working in a fair manner, he added.
All the three nominations filed on behalf of Khaleda for contesting in the parliamentary election from Feni-1, Bogura-6 and Bogura-7 constituencies were cancelled after the scrutiny by returning officer (RO) due to her conviction in two corruption cases for which she is in jail now.
The EC has received a record number of appeals by parliamentary aspirants whose nomination papers were rejected by returning officers.
The ROs rejected 786 nomination papers on December 2.
Conviction in cases, defaulting on loans and not paying utility service bills were among the reasons why the candidacies were cancelled.
Meanwhile, Krishak Sramik Janata League President Abdul Kader Siddique has also appealed to the EC today against his nomination rejection in returning officer’s (RO) scrutiny. Kader Siddique’s nominations have been rejected from Tangail-4 and Tangail-8.
In another development, Workers Party of Bangladesh President and Awami League candidate Rashed Khan Menon appealed to the EC against BNP Standing Committee Member Mirza Abbas’s candidature for Dhaka-8 constituency saying Mirza Abbas has hidden information in the affidavit, Rashed Khan Menon’s Lawyer Zaid Al Mamun told our correspondent.
WHY IS KHALEDA IN JAIL?
On October 29, Khaleda was convicted and sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment by a special court in Dhaka in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
Khaleda landed in jail being sentenced to five years' imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust case by the same court on February 8. The High Court later extended her jail terms in the case to 10 years.
WHAT WAS THE HC OBSERVATION?
A High Court bench last week made an observation that an accused sentenced to more than two years in jail cannot contest an election even if an appeal against the sentence remains pending. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court did not interfere in the observation.
WHAT IS THE ELECTION SCHEDULE?
As per the revised polls schedule, the 11th parliamentary election will be held on December 30.
The Election Commission had fixed November 28 as the deadline for filing nomination papers, December 2 for scrutiny and December 9 last date of withdrawal.