Khaleda cannot contest in polls: AG


DHAKA, Nov 27, 2018 (BSS) – Attorney General Mahbubey Alam today said BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, who has been convicted in two graft cases recently, cannot take part in forthcoming parliamentary election.

“Even if the High Court acquits her in these cases, she would not be able to take part in the next general election. She has to wait for five more years after her acquittal to take part in the polls,” Mahbubey Alam said.

The chief state counsel said these while briefing newsmen at his office after a High Court bench in its observation this morning said if a person is sentenced for more than two years by a lower court, he or she would not be able to take part in polls while is an appeal against the conviction is pending.

A High Court division bench comprising Justice Md. Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice K. M. Hafizul Alam made the observation while rejecting pleas of five BNP leaders to stay their conviction and sentences in graft cases.

“All the pleaders were convicted and have not been acquitted from their sentences. Five-year time has also not passed since their conviction. At this moment, if the court allows them to take part in next general election by staying their conviction, it will go against Article 66 of the constitution. The court then scrapped their pleas,” Attorney General Mahbubey Alam added.

When the journalists asked whether the provision will also be in effect for Khaleda Zia also, the chief state counsel said, “Certainly. It is a constitutional provision. There are two conditions here. If she gets convicted, she would not be able to take part in election. If she gets acquitted from the charges, she has to wait for five years to take part in election again. No court can disregard these constitutional barriers through its verdict.”

“Our Appellate Division and High Court Division are formed in accordance with the constitution. They have to follow the constitution and cannot ignore these,” he added.