Dhaka – The ruling Awami League party has filed a petition to the election commission asking for legal measures over the involvement of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s acting chairperson Tarique Rahman, convicted in graft and criminal cases, in the party’s nomination process.
A senior leader of the AL on Sunday filed the complaint with the Election Commission. Election Commission secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed received it in the evening.
Tareque is convicted criminal, his involvement in the party’s election nomination process in a clear breach of election code of conduct, said Faruk Khan, a presidium member of Awami League.
“It will throw the election into controversy. We urged the Election Commission to take appropriate measures,” Khan, also a retired army officer, told reporters at the election commission secretariat.
Earlier an Election Commissioner, Rafiqul Islam, said that he would have to look up to the law whether the commission has anything to say.
But he assured the reporters that the commission would look into the matter once there is any formal complaint.
Tarique Rahman took part in the interviewing of the party candidates through video conferencing from London, where he has been living since 2008. Rahman left the country after he was accused in a number of corruption charges during the military-backed administration of Fakhruddin Ahmed.
He was later convicted and sentenced to different jail term back in home. One of the courts in Dhaka sentenced him to life in prison for carrying out an attack on an Awami League rally in 2004 that killed at least 24 people.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader raised an objection on this point, saying Tarique is a convict in three cases. He asked the Election Commission to take a note on this.
He said a convicted and fugitive has no right to have any contribution to a national election. He is supposed to be in jail.
BNP said has every right to seek consultation from “anyone they want” to conduct the nomination process.