AL candidates of 4 divisions finalised
The Awami League finalised its lawmaker aspirants in four divisions yesterday and would finalise candidates in the remaining two divisions today.
In the process, the party ended up violating the electoral code of conduct.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired a meeting of the party's parliamentary board where the list was finalised, said meeting sources. She first held the meeting at her Dhanmondi office around noon, but later moved it to her official residence Gono Bhaban at night.
The electoral code of conduct does not allow Hasina to use government facilities for her party's election work.
After the meeting, Awami League advisory council member Suranjit Sengupta told The Daily Star that the party had finalised nominations for candidates in Rangpur, Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal divisions, which have 129 constituencies.
Of the 129, the party had won some 100 seats in the 2008 parliamentary polls.
Sources said the party gave the nod to some new faces excluding controversial lawmakers of the ninth parliament.
The Awami League, however, prepared two lists of candidates. One would be used if the main opposition BNP joined the polls and the other if it did not.
Sources said the party would sacrifice a number of seats for Jatiya Party in Rangpur, the home of Jatiya Party chief HM Ershad. Awami League aspirants in those seats would not get party tickets, they claimed.
Some 3,000 party nomination seekers collected nomination forms for the 300 constituencies.
After finalising all candidates today, the Awami League would then sit with its allies and like-minded parties to talk about seat sharing in the 10th parliamentary election.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the main opposition BNP was boycotting the election in fear of defeat and out of sympathy for its major ally Jamaat-e-Islami.
"The High Court declared illegal the registration of Jamaat-e-Islami [with the Election Commission] and the government has nothing to do with it. BNP wants to stay aloof from the election since Jamaat cannot join it," she said.
The HC cancelled Jamaat's registration with the EC on the grounds that the party's constitution clashes with the country's constitution and that it does not believe in the supremacy of the people of the republic.
At the meeting at her Dhanmondi office, Awami League President Hasina also called upon BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to participate in the election scheduled for January 5 and prove her party's popularity.
She condemned the BNP-led 18-party opposition for what she said was killing people, setting fire to vehicles and damaging and removing fishplates of railway tracks in the name of movement.
Hasina said the BNP chief would have to take the responsibility for the killings. "In future, she [Khaleda] will be identified as the principal accused of the killings."
The PM continued that no one would be allowed to foil the election as people wanted it to be held in due time.
The election will be held in a credible manner in time as per the constitution, she said, asking people to exercise their franchise.
Party leaders Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Kazi Zafarullah, Obaidul Quader, Alaudin Ahmed and Syed Ashraful Islam were also there.