The Election Commission yesterday allowed slain finance minister Shah AMS Kibria's son Reza Kibria, Jatiya Party leader Masud Parvez Sohel Rana, and 76 others to run in the December 30 election.
The EC yesterday held appeals hearings of 150 aspirants. Their nominations had been rejected by the returning officers concerned on December 2.
Gonoforum leader Reza Kibria's nomination for Habiganj-1 had been rejected for his failure to pay Tk 5,500 credit card fee. The returning officer concerned rejected Rana's nomination because he did not pay Tk 4,149 he owed in electricity bill.
After the EC allowed him to run following his appeal hearing yesterday, Rana told the media that he had paid the bill. “I had confidence in the Election Commission,” said the candidate for Barishal-2.
The Daily Star could not reach economist Reza for his comments.
There were 21 BNP leaders among the appeal winners yesterday.
The commission, however, kept pending hearings of BNP leader Amanullah Aman and Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal President Afroza Abbas' appeals. They had filed nominations for Dhaka-2 and Dhaka-9 respectively.
Yesterday, the EC rejected 65 appeals, including that of four BNP leaders, Jatiya Party leader Ruhul Amin Hawlader and Gonojagoron Mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarker.
Hawlader's lawyer Abdul Baset Majumder said, “My client is not a loan defaulter … We will take the matter before the High Court for justice.”
JP Chairman HM Ershad in a sudden move on December 3 removed Hawlader from the party's secretary general post.
Hawlader's fall from the JP chief's grace came a day after his nomination was rejected by the returning officer concerned for default of loan.
Party insiders claimed that Ershad was unhappy with Hawlader due to allegations of “nomination business” against him.
In the first two days of appeals hearings, 158 appellants have been allowed to run for parliament, 141 were denied, and the cases of 11 have been kept pending.
As many as 3,065 nominations were submitted and the ROs rejected 786 of them during scrutiny on December 2.
A total of 543 appeals were filed against the ROs' rejections.
EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed yesterday told journalists that some appeals were kept pending and those would be heard today.
Today, the EC is scheduled to hear 244 appeals, including those of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
NO CERTIFIED COPIES
Candidates who had their hearings completed yesterday did not get the certified copies of the EC order.
Aspirants who had successful appeals need the copies filed with the returning officers concerned while those who were unsuccessful in their hearings with the EC need the copies to file an appeal with the High Court.
Many candidates and their representatives were seen waiting for the copies at the EC yesterday.
EC Joint Secretary Selim Mia told The Daily Star, “We, including our commissioners, were busy at appeals hearing. That's why we could not issue the certified copies.”