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Bangladesh polls: EC rejects nomination of jailed ex-premier Zia

Press Trust of India  |  Dhaka 

The candidature of jailed former Khaleda Zia, who has filed her nomination papers for the upcoming in the country from three constituencies, has been rejected Sunday by the due to her convictions in two graft cases.

The Commission's decision came four days after the High Court ruled that a person jailed for more than two years cannot contest polls, effectively ruining Zia's chance to participate in the December 30 polls.

The 73-year-old ex-is currently serving jail terms in two graft cases involving charities named after her slain husband

Zia had filed nomination papers from three constituencies -- two from northwestern Bogra and one from southeastern Feni, but the returning officers of the two districts scrapped her nominations as she was convicted by the court, an EC said.

As per election rules, a candidate declared unfit to contest polls can appeal to an EC tribunal for revised decisions or could challenge the commission decision to the High Court.

Besides Zia, the nomination of 15 high-profile candidates were also disqualified on different grounds, the said.

Zia has been in custody since February 8, when the convicted her in the graft case and sentenced her to five years of imprisonment for embezzling 21 million Bangladeshi Taka (USD 252,504) in foreign donations meant for the Trust. On October 30, the High Court doubled her jail term to 10 years.

On October 29, a trial court convicted her in the graft case and sentenced her to seven years in prison and imposed a fine of Tk 1 million (USD 12,024).

Zia was made vice-of the Nationalist Party (BNP), the largest political opposition of the country, in March 1983 after the assassination of her husband. She became of the party on May 10, 1984, a post she is holding till now.

In her 35 years of political career, Zia went to the jail several times.

During the 2007-2008 tenure of the army-backed caretaker government, she was in jail for about a year on charges of corruption.

The BNP, which boycotted the 2014 elections under Sheikh Hasina-led government, is set to contest the polls in alliance with the newly formed Front (NUF) led by eminent jurist

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 02 2018. 19:30 IST