Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia and 542 other aggrieved aspirants filed appeals with the Election Commission till Wednesday, the last day for filing appeal, challenging the decisions of the returning officers over the rejection and acceptance of nomination papers for the next general election slated for December 30.
Khaleda Zia’s lawyers Masud Talukder and Kayser Kamal on Wednesday filed the appeals with the commission at Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital as her nomination papers were turned downed by the respective returning officers of Bogura 6 and 7 and Feni 1 constituencies on Sunday’ scrutiny.
Addressing a press conference at EC media center, the commission secretary Helaluddin Ahmed told reporters that out of total 543 petitions, 222 petitions were submitted on Wednesday, while 237 ones on Tuesday and 84 ones on Monday.
He said that the commission now will start hearing and instant disposal of the petitions at 10:00am Thursday.
The secretary said that some 160 petitions will be disposed on Thursday maintaining the serial of the appeals, while 150 petitions on Friday, and the remaining 233 ones on Saturday.
The commission, a quasi-judicial body, has already set up the hearing room at the Nirbachan Bhaban, he said.
Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda will lead the hearings on the appeals, while other election commissioners will be present.
Even if anyone is aggrieved with the commission’s decision in this regard, the person can go to the High Court to seek redress, he said.
During the submission of appeals BNP aspirants Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin of Chattogram 5, Golam Maula Rony of Patuakhali 3, Khandaker Abu Ashfaq of Dhaka 1, Khorshed Milton of Bogura 7, Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan of Khagrachari, Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu of Natore 2, Sabira Sultana of Jashore 2 and Mir Mohammad Nasir Uddin’s son Mir Mohammad Helaluddin of Chattogram 5, Gono Forum general aspirants Mostafa Mohsin Montu of Dhaka 3 and Reza Kibira of Habiganj 1, sacked Jatiya Party secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader of Patuakhali 1, Jatiya Party candidate film actor Masud Parvez of Barishal 2, and independent candidate Imran H Sarkar of Kurigram 4 were among those who filed the petitions.
During scrutiny, the returning officers on Sunday accepted a total of 2,279 nomination papers and turned down 786 others submitted in the country's 300 constituencies to contest the 11th parliamentary elections.
Replying to a question, the commission secretary said the political parties will have to send letters to the returning officers and the commission informing their final candidates in case of more than one contestants from a party in one constituency.
'If the parties send the letters through email, it will also be treated as official declaration,' he said.
The EC will deliver the copy of its decision on a petition instantly after its disposal, said Helaluddin.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 9 and the electoral symbols will be distributed among the contesting candidates on December 10.
The election campaign will be allowed to be conducted after the allocation of the symbols.
Beside, sending a letter to EC, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday requested the CEC for quick disposal of petitions.
In the letter, the CEC was requested, to take measures for disposal of the petitions by December 7 or within very quickest time for convenient of political parties to finalise their respective final candidates.
In another letter, BNP reminded the EC that a total of 11 registered political parties will contest with Sheaf of Paddy, the election symbol of BNP, in the polls.
The 11 parties are BNP, Gono Forum, Liberal Democratic Party, ASM Abdur Rob led Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Bangladesh Jatiya Party-BJP, Krishak Sramik Janata League, Khelafat Majlish, National Democratic Party, Kalyan Party, Bangladesh Muslim League and Jamiyate Ulamaye Islam Bangladesh.
The party also requested again the commission to take necessary measures to stop arrest and harassment of its leaders and activists.

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