Won't accept BNP charter until disposal of plea at HC
12:00 AM, November 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:13 AM, November 07, 2018

Won't accept BNP charter until disposal of plea at HC

Says CEC, cites HC order

In line with a High Court directive, the Election Commission will not accept BNP's amended constitution until a petition in this regard is disposed of, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said yesterday.

“We will have to follow the High Court's order regarding amendment to the BNP's constitution,” he told reporters after a training programme at the Election Training Institute in the city's Agargaon.

On October 31, the HC directed the EC not to accept the BNP's amended charter until the disposal of a plea against the amendments.

Md Mozammel Hossain, who claimed to be a BNP activist in the capital's Kafrul area, filed the plea with the EC on October 30, requesting the commission not to accept the amended charter. He submitted the application to the Dispatch Section of the EC Secretariat.

Interestingly, Mozammel didn't give the EC time to address his plea. He hurriedly moved to the HC the next day and filed the writ petition seeking its directives on the EC.

In its order, HC asked some high-ups of the EC, the LGRD ministry and the BNP to explain within four weeks why the deletion of the provision in the party charter, which restricted a person convicted of corruption from holding party positions, will not be declared illegal as the changes violate article 66(2) (d) of the country's constitution.

The article says, “A person shall be disqualified for election as, or for being, a member of parliament who has been, on conviction for a criminal offence involving moral turpitude, sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release.”

The court also asked the commission to dispose of the plea within a month and issued a rule questioning the legality of the changes in the BNP charter.

Talking to this correspondent last week at his office, Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam had said the commission would sit in a meeting to discuss the issue.

Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed recently told The Daily Star that the EC had received the directive and would take its next course of action in line with the order.

Following the HC directive, the BNP faces fresh troubles over its top leadership as the order triggered a debate on whether Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman can remain the party's chairperson and senior vice chairman respectively as they have been convicted and sentenced in corruption cases.

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