'By Sunday, all parties will have to inform the returning officers concerned through letters about their symbols that will be allocated to the final candidates of the 300 constituencies'
Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed has said that all political parties will have to inform them by December 9 about the candidates who will get to use their electoral symbol while contesting the 11th parliamentary polls.
By Sunday, all parties will have to inform the returning officers concerned through letters about their symbols that will be allocated to the final candidates of the 300 constituencies, he said at a press briefing at the commission’s Secretariat in Agargaon, Dhaka on Wednesday evening.
He said: “The candidates can also inform the returning officers through email. But a copy of that email will have to be submitted to the Election Commission as well.
“Through that the returning officers will confirm which party each candidate is representing in the polls, and only after that they will allocate the symbols as per the parties’ choice.”
Replying to a question, he said the parties will also have to send letters to the returning officers and the commission informing about their final candidates in case there is still more than one contestant from a party in one constituency.
"If they send the letters through email, it will be considered as official letters too."
From Monday till Wednesday, a total of 543 petitions were filed with the commission to overturn the decisions of rejecting and accepting nominations taken by the returning officers on Sunday.
According to Helal, total 160 petitions will be disposed of maintaining the serial of the appeals on Thursday, 150 petitions on Friday, and the remaining 233 ones on Saturday.
He said that the commission, which is a quasi-judicial body, has already set up the hearing room at its office building. Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda will lead the hearings along with the four other election commissioners.
“The Election Commission will deliver the copy of its decision on a petition instantly after its disposal,” said the secretary.
If anyone remains unhappy with the commission’s final decision, he or she can move the High Court, he added.
November 28 was the last day to submit the nomination papers. After scrutinization, the returning officers on Sunday had cleared 2,279 out of 3,065 nomination papers, submitted by prospecting candidates vying to contest the upcoming general election slated for December 30.
The forms of 786 nomination-seekers were also rejected, out of which 543 appealed over the past three days.