A total of 786 nomination papers out of 3,095, including that of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia and many other heavyweights, have been rejected by the Election Commission (EC) on Sunday.
According to sources, as many as 68 nomination papers have been rejected on failing to meet the certain conditions placed by EC.
The commission has also cancelled the nomination paper of Jatiya Party secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader and Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL) President Abdul Kader Siddiqui on loan default.
However, the nomination seekers, whose applications have been cancelled, can appeal before the commission by December 5.
Deputy Secretary of EC Atiar Rahman told Bangladesh Post that the candidates can file appeal to the commission from today (Monday).
“They will get three days — December 3, 4 and 5. The commission will start hearing on the appeal on December 6, 7 and 8,” he added.
If the appeal of any candidate is rejected, they can go to the court, he also said.
Earlier, a total of 3056 candidates from different political parties, including Awami League-led Grand Alliance, BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront and some independent ones, had submitted nomination papers to EC to contest the 11th national election scheduled to be held on December 30.
After scrutinising the nomination papers of the candidates, Returning Officers across the country, since Sunday morning, started announcing names of the candidates whose nominations were valid or had been cancelled.
EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed told reporters that candidates, whose nominations have been cancelled by their respective Returning Officers, would be able file appeal with Election Commission initially.
“Even if EC rejects nomination of a candidate, they can file petition with the High Court. If the High Court grants the appeal, they can participate in the polls,” he said.
Md Wahiduzzaman, Feni District Returning Officer, rejected the nomination papers of Khaleda and three others in Feni-1 constituency on Sunday morning.
The Returning Officer rejected the nomination paper of Khaleda Zia for contesting the parliamentary election from Feni-1 constituency due to her conviction in two corruption cases.
Her (Khaleda Zia) two other nominations for Bogura-6 and 7 parliamentary constituencies have also been cancelled.
Khaleda landed in jail being sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust case by a special court in Dhaka on February 8 this year. The High Court later on October 30 extended her jail terms in the case to 10 years.
Apart from Khaleda Zia, the other candidates whose nominations have been cancelled are — Reza Kibria, son of slain former AL finance minister Shah AMS Kibria for Habiganj-2 constituency, Dhaka mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka’s son Ishrak Hossain, Dr Imran H Sarker for Kurigram-4, and popular music video model and actor Hero Alam for Bogura-4.
Former communication minister Barrister Nazmul Huda’s nomination has been also cancelled from Dhaka-17 parliamentary seat. Former Awami League lawmaker, who now joined BNP, Golam Maula Rony’s nomination has been also cancelled by the returning officer of Patuakhali-3 parliamentary constituency.
Nominations of BNP leader Amamnullah Aman and former BNP minister Barrister Aminul Haque for Dhaka-2 constituency, and BNP candidate Selim Bhuiyan for Dhaka-5 have also been cancelled as they failed to fulfil the EC conditions.
Of the total candidates, 708 candidates are from 70 constituencies of Dhaka division, 688 from 58 constituencies of Chattogram, 353 from 39 constituencies of Rajshahi, 351 from 36 constituencies of Khulna, 177 from 19 constituencies of Sylhet, 182 from 21 constituencies of Barishal, 361 from 33 constituencies of Rangpur and 236 candidates are from 24 constituencies of Mymensingh.
To contest the December 30 parliamentary election, a total of 3,056 nomination papers were submitted, which was the second highest since 1991 general election. In 1991, at least 3,855 people had filed nominations while 3,093 in June 1996 polls; 2,563 in 2001 election; and 2,460 in 2008 polls.
According to the polls schedule, the election will be held on December 30. The last date of withdrawal of nomination paper is December 9. The EC will allocate the polls symbols to candidate on December 10.