A total of 42 aggrieved aspirants, including 26 independent hopefuls, filed appeals before the Election Commission on the first day yesterday, challenging the decisions of the returning officers.
The commission on Tuesday started receiving the petitions over the rejection and acceptance of nomina-tion papers by the returning officers and will continue it till December 09.
Chief Election Commission Kazi Habibul Awal visited the first day activities of receiving the appeals through 10 booths installed on the premises of Nirbachan Bhaban in the city.
Visiting the activities, the CEC told reporters that the full commission will hear the appeals and then hand down its decisions. The petitions will be heard from December 10 to 15 next, he said.
In reply to a question as to why Ex-BNP leader and AL aspirant Barrister Shahjahan Omar came to the Election Commission, Habibul Awal said it is not his affairs.
He, however, did not reply to another question as to why the EC only issues show- cause notices and doesn’t go for actions against the violation of the electoral code of conduct.
In this regard, the CEC said, “I’ve said as much as I had to say. I won’t say anything beyond that.”
The aspirants who submitted appeals on Tuesday include Bakalpadhara Bangladesh nominated Mahi B Chowdhury (Munshiganj-3), Jatiya Party nominated Md Akhteruzzaman (Jashore-1), Shafiqul Islam Madhu (Khulna-6) and ATM Mazharul Islam (Cumilla-2), and Trinomul BNP nominated Abdur Rab (Sylhet-2).
A total of 2,716 aspirants including 747 independent ones submitted nomination papers in 300 constitu-encies throughout the country to run the 12th parliamentary election slated for January 07 next.
But the returning officers have accepted 1985 nomination papers and rejected 731 others during the scru-tiny conducted on December 1-4 last.
Most of the 731 nomination papers were rejected on three grounds — mismatch in 1pc voters’ signatures submitted by independent aspirants, loans and utility bills defaults and dual citizenship.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 17 and the returning officers will distribute electoral symbols among the contenders on December 18.
The candidates can go for electioneering from December 18 to January 5 (8am), 48 hours before the balloting, which will continue from 8am to 4pm without any recess on January 7.