Dual citizenship: 2 AL candidates, 1 independent lose candidacy

Staff Reporter :
Three electoral candidates – two from Awami League and one independent – have lost their candidacy following appeal hearings by the Election Commission on Friday (15 December).

Other than being citizens of Bangladesh, two of them have been proven to be citizens of the US and Australia, while the third has been claimed to have citizenship of the Netherlands.

According to the Representation of the People Order, 1972, an election candidate cannot hold dual citizenship. The Election Commission started hearing the 419 appeals that were filed against the decision of returning officers on 10 December, and the hearing is scheduled to be concluded on Friday.

Shammi Ahmed fails to gain candidacy in Barishal-4

Shammi Ahmed from the Barishal-4 constituency failed to get back her candidacy due to concealing information about dual citizenship.
The Election Commission delivered the verdict after reviewing her appeal on Friday (15 December) morning.

The commission also upheld the candidacy of independent candidate PankajNath in the constituency.

On 4 December, EC cancelled the nomination of Awami League leader Shammi Ahmed for Barishal-4 (Hijla-Mehendiganj) in the upcoming JatiyaSangsad polls over holding dual citizenship.

On 3 December, Pankaj alleged that Shammi, who is the international affairs secretary of the Awami League, holds citizenship for both Bangladesh and Australia.

In a similar fashion, Shammi had alleged that Pankaj, in his wealth statement, hid his ownership of public transportation BihangaParibahan, which runs on several routes in Dhaka.

Following the scrutiny of the allegations, Barishal Deputy Commissioner Shahidul Islam, who is also the returning officer for the district, announced the cancellation of Shammi’s candidacy.

He said according to the Representation of the People Order, 1972, an election candidate cannot hold dual citizenship. Hence, Shammi’s nomination has been cancelled.

Barishal-5 candidate Sadiq Abdullah’s candidacy cancelled over dual citizenship

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Former Barishal Mayor and independent candidate for Barishal-5 constituency SerniabatSadiq Abdullah’s candidacy has been cancelled over concealing information about dual citizenship on the last day of the Election Commission’s (EC) appeal hearing.
The Election Commission delivered the verdict after reviewing his appeal on Friday (15 December) morning.

Sadiq Abdullah’s legal representative, senior lawyer KhurshidAlam Khan, informed journalists that they intend to appeal against the annulment of Sadiq Abdullah’s candidacy in the High Court.

“On Sunday, we will file an appeal in the High Court,” the lawyer said.

Earlier, the incumbent member of parliament from the constituency and state minister for water resources, ZahidFarukShamim, filed an appeal alleging Sadiq had concealed information regarding his dual citizenship and his wife’s assets.

During the appeal hearing on 10 December, EC directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to collect information by 14 December based on his US citizenship and assets with the help of the US Embassy in Dhaka.

Sadiq, the eldest son of AbulHasanat Abdullah, president of the Barishal district Awami League and candidate for the Barishal-1 constituency, was elected as the city mayor in 2018.

He is also the general secretary of the Barishal Metropolitan Awami League.

Faridpur AL nominee ShamimHaque’s candidacy rejected amid dual citizenship claims

The Election Commission (EC) has cancelled the candidacy of ShamimHaque, the Awami League candidate in Faridpur-3 constituency.
The commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner CEC KaziHabibulAwal passed the verdict after hearing an appeal on Friday (15 December).

Previously, ShamimHaque’s rival independent candidate AK Azad filed an appeal with the EC against his candidacy citing his dual citizenship.

ShamimHaque was referred to as a citizen of the Netherlands in the appeal.