The Election Commission (EC) on Friday declared invalid the candidacy of three Awami League aspir-ants Shammi Ahmed in Barishal-4 constituency, Shamim Haque in Faridupur-3 and Salahuddin Ahmed in Cox’s Bazar-1 and independent hopeful Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah in Barishal-5.
The commission headed by Kazi Habibul Awal made the declaration, hearing appeals over their candida-cy at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city.
Among the four aspirants, the candidacy of Shammi Ahmed, Shamim Haque and Serniabat Sadiq Ab-dullah were declared invalid on grounds of having dual citizenship, while that of Salahuddin Ahmed on ground of loan default.
However, there is no bar for independent aspirants incumbent Pankaj Debnath in Barishal-4 and busi-nessman AK Azad in Faridpur-3 to run the upcoming national election slated for January-7 next as the commission rejected the appeals filed against their candidacy on Friday.
In Barishal-4, the returning officer earlier cancelled the nomination paper of Shammi Ahmed on ground of having dual citizenship following an allegation raised by independent aspirant Pankaj Debnath.
Shammi submitted two appeals before the election commission challenging the decisions of Returning Officer – one is against the cancellation of her nomination paper and another is acceptance of Pankaj Debnath’s nomination paper.
Shammi in her petition alleged that Pankaj Debnath concealed information in the affidavits submitted with his nomination paper.
In Faridpur-3, the returning officer earlier declared nomination papers of AL aspirants Shamim Haque and independent contender AK Azad as valid ones.
But the two aspirants filed petitions before the commission against each other seeking the cancellation of candidacy. Shamim Haque in his petition alleged that AK Azad concealed information in his affidavits attached with nomination paper, while AK Azad alleged that Shamim Haque has dual citizenship.
The commission on Friday accepted the petition filed by AK Azad and scrapped the appeal lodged by Shamim Haque following hearings.
In Barishal-5, former Barishal city corporation mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah became an independent aspirant, failing to secure AL’s ticket to run the election. But AL’s aspirant and incumbent MP Zahid Faruk Shamim submitted an appeal before the commission challenging the acceptance of Sadiq Abdul-lah’s nomination paper by the returning officer.
Zahid Faruk in his appeal alleged that Sadiq Abdullah has dual citizenship.
In Cox’s Bazar-1, the returning officer earlier cancelled the nomination of AL’s aspirant Salahuddin Ahmed on ground of loan default. He filed a petition before the commission, seeking the overturn of the decision. But the commission turned down his appeal hearing it.
The Election Commission on Friday concluded the hearing and disposal of the appeals filed by aggrieved aspirants starting from December 10 last.
If anyone becomes aggrieved even with the EC’s decision over candidature, the person has scope to go to the higher court, challenging it.