3 December 2018, Mon, 4:48

Record 786 nomination rejected, none from ruling Awami League

Oppositions’ nomination papers cancelled to ease unilateral polls: BNP

Main opposition party Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has no candidates in three constituencies despite the party’s fielding of 696 aspirants against 295 of 300 parliamentary seats before completing seat sharing with partners.

Returning officers on Sunday rejected around 80 candidates of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, its leaders alleged.

However, no major candidate of ruling Awami League lost candidature in the election commission’s scrutiny.

Rather, some of the AL’s rebel candidates were denied opportunity to contest the polls, according to reports from different districts.

The current election commission has made the highest record in Bangladesh history of rejecting nomination papers of the candidates.

Candidature of as many as 786 candidates out of 3065 who submitted nomination papers for contesting the 11th parliamentary polls, was declared illegal on a variety of grounds, but the opposition candidates termed the EC’s measures politically motivated.

In the 9th parliamentary elections held in 2008, a total of 557 aspirants’ nomination papers were cancelled. The number of candidates was 2456 in that year.

The election commission will dispose of the appeals to be filed against the cancellation upon hearing within the next three days -- 6-8 December, said EC joint secretary Farhad Ahammad Khan.

Some big names of BNP and opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front are in the list of 786 candidates whose candidature was declared invalid.

BNP chief Khaleda Zia’s all three nomination papers were declared invalid as the former premier is sentenced in graft cases. The BNP filed nomination papers for Khaleda in Feni-1, Bogura-6 and Bogura-7 constituencies.

President of Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL), a component of opposition coalition Jatiya Oikya Front, Abdul Kader Siddiqui also faced the same consequence as his nomination papers for contesting polls from Tangail 1 and 4 constituencies were cancelled.

Those whose candidature was declared invalid include BNP leader Amanullah Aman in Dhaka-2, Mir Nasiruddin in Chattogram-5 , Mirza Abbas’s wife Afroza Abbas in Dhaka-9, Gias Quader Chowdhury in Chattogram-2 and 7, Selim Bhuiyan in Dhaka-5, Aminul Haque in Rajshahi-1, Aslam Chowdhury in Chattogram-4, Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu in Natore-2, M Rashiduzzaman Millat in Jamalpur-1 and Golam Mowla Rony in Patuakhali-3, who recently joined the BNP to contest from the party.

Nomination form of Reza Kibria, son of former Awami League government’s finance minister Shah SM Kibria, who recently joined Gano Forum, who was an aspirant of Jatiya Oikya Front from Habiganj-1, was also declared invalid.

The ruling AL did not face any such trouble as no major candidate of the party was declared invalid during the scrutiny on Sunday.

However, the AL’s ally Jatiya Party secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader’s nomination paper for contesting the polls from Patuakhali-1 was cancelled.

The scrutiny has left the BNP and Jatiya Oikya Front alliance without any candidates in three constituencies.

Neither the BNP nor its alliance partner has any candidates left in Dhaka-1, Manikganj-2 and Bagura-7 constituencies as nominations of all the candidates of the party were cancelled in those seats.

The BNP fielded more than one candidate in almost all constituencies as many of its probable candidates were either implicated in what it called fictitious cases or convicted in various cases.

The BNP is yet to finalise its seat-sharing with the alliance partners – 20 parties and the new coalition of Jatiya Oikya Front (National Unity Front).

The last date for the withdrawal of candidature is 9 December and the electoral symbols will be allocated on 10 December.

Oppositions’ nomination papers cancelled to ease unilateral polls: BNP

Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Sunday complained that cancellation of nomination papers mostly of the opposition candidates was the part of the government’s plan to hold the December 30 parliamentary polls ‘unilaterally’.

Nomination papers of several candidates of opposition parties were cancelled by returning officers on various grounds, including of loan defaulting and conviction.

Nomination papers of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia filed in all three constituencies — Bogura 6, Bogura 7 and Feni, were cancelled for her conviction in two corruption cases.

BNP-led alliance alleged that around 80 nomination papers of the alliance candidates including the leading party’s imprisoned chairperson Khaleda Zia were cancelled for keeping the ruing ruling party’s candidates in ahead for wining in the 11th parliament poll scheduled for December 30.

The alliance’s chief coordinator Oli Ahmed, also Liberal Democratic Party, president made the remarks after an emergency meeting of the alliance at Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office in the evening.

He said nomination papers of about 80 candidates including Khaleda Zia were cancelled in the scrutiny. 

By excluding opposition candidates during nomination paper scrutiny, the ruling party went ahead a step for victory, he said adding that if such tricks went on it would not be possible for the opposition candidates to stay in the race. 

BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said the incidents of cancellation of nomination papers of the party’s candidates particularly Khaleda Zia is a ‘blueprint’ of the government.