• Saturday, March 07, 2015

Panel hears allegations of manipulation in REHAB polls

Suman Saha

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry yesterday held a hearing on the allegations of manipulation in the election of realtors.
Three cases were placed with the arbitration committee formed by FBCCI and around 40 people, including lawyers, took part in the hearing.
The Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh ran into controversy as it plans to get a 21-member executive committee for 2014-16 without any election. The members were handpicked by an influential minister, several realtors alleged.
The REHAB election board scrapped the candidatures of some contestants unlawfully, while others were forced to withdraw their nominations from the race, they alleged.
“I attended the hearing as the REHAB election board has cancelled my nomination on trivial issues,” said Zeeba Ameena Khan, chairman of Newton One Capita Ltd.

The election board cancelled her candidacy as there was a discrepancy in the signature, although she was enrolled into the voter list with that signature, said Zeeba Khan, a supporter of BNP.
Momin Islam, managing director of Western Developers Ltd, who also attended the hearing, said: “The election board cancelled my candidature, although my nomination papers were not faulty.”
 “The board cancelled my nomination saying that I submitted a withdrawal letter, but I did not do so.”
The election board finalised a list of 21 candidates on May 14, cancelling the candidatures of 56 other contestants; meaning the biennial polls scheduled for May 31 will go uncontested.
The number of voters also declined significantly this year; of the 1,198 eligible member REHAB companies, only 540 will be able to vote.
One realtor termed the massive cancellation of nominations “part of a bigger game” played by the minister under the Awami League-led government.
The five-member arbitration committee led by former FBCCI President AK Azad will announce the verdict on Saturday.  

Published: 12:00 am Friday, May 23, 2014

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