Dhaka, Dec 5 (UNB) - Rashed Khan Menon, a candidate of the ruling Awami League-led Grand Alliance, on Wednesday filed a petition with the Election Commission challenging the candidature of the opposition combine Jatiya Okiyafront's Mirza Abbas.
Lawyer Ziad al Malum, on behalf of Menon, submitted the petition before the appellate authority, EC, in the afternoon against the validity of Abbas' nomination paper filed for Dhaka-8 constituency in the parliamentary elections.
During Sunday's scrutiny, the returning officer declared valid the nomination paper of BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas in the constituency.
In Dhaka-8, Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon is also a valid contestant of the Workers Party, a component of the ruling Awami League-led 14-party alliance.
After submission of the petition, Ziad told reporters Mirza Abbas concealed that his wife Afroza Abbas is a loan defaulter.
Besides, both Mirza Abbas and his wife Afroza, who also submitted nomination paper for Dhaka-9 provided misleading information in their affidavits filed with the Election Commission.
The BNP leader mentioned in his affidavit that he has liabilities of more than Tk 70 lakh to his wife, while Afroza said she has liabilities of Tk one crore to her husband.
In Dhaka-8, a total of 22 aspirants submitted nomination papers to contest the national election, but the returning officer rejected seven nomination papers.
The EC will dispose of all the petitions, submitted against the decision of the returning officers over rejection and acceptance of nomination papers, on December 6-8.
During Sunday's scrutiny, the returning officers accepted total 2,279 nomination papers and rejected 786 others submitted in the country's 300 constituencies to contest the 11th national election slated for December 30.
Dhaka, Dec 5 (UNB) – Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said there is no scope of Election Commission (EC) reform as it was earlier overhauled with recommendations from all parties.
“The Election Commission has been formed through a search committee and after taking recommendations from all parties. So, there’s no further scope to reform it now,” said Quader while talking to reporters after paying tributes to the grave of Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy here, marking his 55th death anniversary.
Talking about the BNP’s allegation about the EC’s role, the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said, “Knowing that they’ll fail to win the upcoming election, the Jatiya Oikyafront is throwing stones of allegations in the air.”
The Election Commission has rejected the nomination forms of some BNP-backed candidates and it also explained why their nominations were rejected, he said adding, “BNP is bringing allegations unnecessarily.”
“The Election Commission is an independent organisation and why did they turn down the nomination papers of BNP as per our advice? We have no hands in it.”
Referring to Fakhrul’s allegation of nomination business against ruling Awami League, the AL leader said, “The party, which organisational base is week, has distributed nomination forms in a massive way and it is already heard that many leaders have left Dhaka with the money they got through nomination business.”
“We don’t do any nomination business,” he said.
Dhaka, Dec 5 (UNB) – BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Wednesday alleged that the Election Commission’s ‘Awami face’ is getting exposed gradually with its activities to ‘ensure the ruling party’s victory’.
“The Election Commission is resorting to various tricks and strategies as it probably wants to ensure the ruling party’s victory, even before the election. They staged a dress rehearsal of it through revoking huge nomination papers during the scrutiny,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, the BNP leader also said the EC only scrutinised the nomination papers of the BNP and Awami League’s rebel and independent runners, not the ruling party’s.
Rizvi also alleged returning officers declared valid the nomination papers of Awami League candidates as per a list provided by Prime Minister’s adviser HT Imam without scrutinising those.
He alleged that the EC, led by KM Nurul Huda, is working as per the plan of the ruling party to hold a unilateral general election.
Rizvi said the EC is going to issue a notice asking the candidates to submit the lists of their polling angsts before them. “It’s part of a blueprint so that a new drive can be launched against our activists seeing the lists as we saw such a situation during the city polls.”
The BNP leader said the Commission is taking all the steps in support of the ruling party while it has no move to ensure a level-playing field.
Speaking at the press conference, BNP vice chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed said the country is heading towards a ‘farcical and dangerous’ election under a partisan government and the Election Commission.
He said though the electioneering will start on December 10, their leaders and activists cannot go to their areas due to arrest and harassment by law enforcers.
The BNP leader said they repeatedly urged the Chief Election Commissioner to create a congenial atmosphere, but he did not take any step in this regard.
He said the EC neither transferred the officials of the police and administration nor recovered illegal and legal arms after the announcement of the election schedule as per the tradition.
“These arms will be used against the leaders and activists of BNP and other opposition parties. So, time has come to rethink whether we should participate in such an election. We may lose our many activists in the days to come while many others may get maimed,” Hafiz added.
Dhaka, Dec 5 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday said the Election Commissioners should resign if it cannot work properly for ensuring a credible and impartial election.
“I would like to urge the Election Commission to let people know as to why you can’t perform your duties neutrally, freely and independently. If you’re unable to do so, you please step down,” he told reporters at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office at noon.
The BNP leader criticised the Election Commission (EC) for what he said its failure to ensure any level-playing field. “The election is going to be a farce. Instead of taking steps for ensuring a level-playing field, they’re making efforts to worsen the situation further.”
He also alleged that various obstacles are being created constantly to keep BNP away from the election.
Fakhrul said the EC is issuing various notices that are not conductive to a fair election.
He said though it is restricted to holding any rally and election campaign before the allocation of the election symbol, the ruling party runners are regularly holding meetings and rallies without any obstruction.
The BNP leader called upon the Election Commission to exercise their constitutional authorities to hold the election in a fair and credible manner. “We would like to tell the Commission that the election will not be acceptable to all if you work as per the directives of ministers and ruling party leaders.
He alleged that the ruling party is trying to hold a one-party and lopsided election by establishing its control over all the institutions of the country.
Fakhrul said their party’s several thousand leaders and activists have been kept in jail while law enforcers are arresting many others regularly in ‘false’ cases.
He demanded the release of their chairpersons Khaleda Zia and all other arrested leaders and activists immediately.
The BNP leader said they hope to finalise their party’s candidates for the 11th parliamentary elections by Wednesday.
Fakhrul urged the voters to get ready to go to the polling stations to exercise their right to franchise under any circumstances and thus restore their ownership of the country.
Dhaka, Dec 05 (UNB) - Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Wednesday instructed all the members of the electoral inquiry committees to handle the complaints of aspirants of the 11th National election with great care.
“The Election Commission has already started receiving many complaints including violation of election code of conducts by aspirants," the CEC said while addressing a workshop of Election Inquiry Committee at Nirbahcan Bhaban in city's Agargaon area.
“You have to consider all aspirants’ complaints equally,” the CEC told the members of electoral inquiry committees.
The Election Commission has constituted the Electoral Inquiry Committee coordination with judges in every district. The committee has been given the responsibility of conducting judicial process during the election period.
Nurul Huda said, “You are not visible yet. When you will be visible to people, everyone will know about you and then they won't have to come to the commission.”
Among others, four election commissioner and the EC secretary also spoke at the programme.