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543 candidates challenge decisions Appeal hearing from today

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nirbachanStaff Reporter
A total of 543 petitions were filed with the Election Commission (EC) within stipulated three days till Wednesday challenging the decisions of returning officers over the rejection and acceptance of nomination papers submitted by aspirants to contest the next national election.
Of them, 222 petitions were submitted on Wednesday while 237 on Tuesday and 84 on Monday, said EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed while briefing reporters on Wednesday evening.
Most of the petitions are against the rejection of nomination papers while a few against the acceptance, he said.
Jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia of Bogura-6, 7 and Feni-1, Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin and his son Mir Mohammad Helaluddin of Chattogram-5, Golam Maula Rony of Patuakhali-3, Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu of Natore-2, Sabira Sultana of Jashore-2, Khandaker Abu Ashfaq of Dhaka-1, Khorshed Milton of Bogura-7 and Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan of Khagrachhari were among BNP aspirants who filed the petitions to get back their candidature in the election.
Besides, Krishak Sramik Janata League aspirant Kader Siddiqui of Tangail-4 and 8, Gano Forum aspirants Mostafa Mohsin Montu of Dhaka-3 and Reza Kibira of Habiganj-1, Jatiya Party aspirants ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader of Patuakhali-1 and film actor Masud Parvez of Barishal-2, and independent candidate Imran H Sarkar of Kurigram-4 filed petitions challenging the rejection of their nomination papers by the returning officers.
"Now, the Election Commission, the appellate authority, will start hearing and instant disposal of the petitions at 10am on Thursday," the EC secretary said, adding that all appeals will be settled by December 8.
"Some 160 petitions will be disposed of on Thursday maintaining the serials of the appeals while 150 on Friday and the remaining 233 will be sorted out on Saturday," said Helal.
The EC will hand over a copy of its decision on a petition instantly after its disposal, he said.
Replying to a query, the EC secretary said political parties will have to send letters to the returning officers and the Election Commission informing their final candidates in case of more than one contestant in any constituency. "If the parties send the letters through email, those will be taken into consideration," he said.
The Commission, the quasi-judicial body, has already set up the hearing room at Nirbachan Bhaban. Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda will lead the hearings over the appeals, while other election commissioners will be present.
Even if anyone is aggrieved with the EC's decision during hearings, the person can go to court to seek redress.
During scrutiny, returning officers on Sunday accepted a total of 2,279 nomination papers and turned down 786 submitted in 300 constituencies across the country to contest the 11th national election slated for December 30.
The last date for the 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.