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153 MPs Uncontested in January 5 are legal: Ajmalul Hossain
Sunday, 15 June 2014
Eminent jurist Ajmalul Hossain as an amicus curiae told the High Court today that 153 candidates’ being elected uncontested in January 5 national election is legal.
“It follows that my opinion is that all members of parliament elected under RPO S. 19 [RPO Section 19] unopposed where there has been no candidate to contest in the election have been validly elected,” he said.
The senior counsel made the observation in a written statement submitted to the HC at a hearing of a writ petition that challenged the legality of Article 19 of the Representation of the People Order (RPO), which allows the Election Commission to declare a contender elected uncontested.
In the January 5 general election, 153 out of 300 candidates were elected uncontested without a single vote being cast.
Earlier two other veteran jurists — Dr Kamal Hossain and Rafique-Ul Huq — placed their opinions before the HC against the January 5 elections.
Kamal told the court that declaring 153 people elected unopposed was alarming, as representatives of people must be elected through voting, according to the constitution.
Rafique-Ul observed it was not an election in the eye of law.
“It was a mockery of election. It was more a selection than an election. It was a football game without any goalkeeper. Our constitution does not contemplate such an election for the members of the Parliament,” he said.
The HC bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar will resume the hearing on June 16.
Khandker Abdus Salam, who wanted to contest the January 5 election from Gazipur but his candidacy was cancelled for “defaulting on loans”, filed the petition last December.