On Thursday, the High Court disqualified five BNP candidates as the government had not accepted their resignations from upazila chairman posts
The electoral race appears to be getting more difficult for BNP every day, with the candidatures of the party’s nominees having so far been cancelled in 15 out of the 300 constituencies.
The party has also been facing harassment, allegedly by ruling Awami League supporters, across the country.
The cancellations were ordered by the High Court in recent days, for reasons ranging from the nominee’s holding of upazila chairman posts to loan default.
On Thursday, the High Court disqualified five BNP candidates as the government had not accepted their resignations from upazila chairman posts.
Among them, BNP candidate from Joypurhat 1 Fazlur Rahman is the upazila chairman of Joypurhat Sadar, Rajshahi 6 candidate Abu Sayeed Chan is the Charghat upazila chairman, Brahmanbaria 4 candidate Md Moslem Uddin is the Akhaura upazila chairman, Jhenaidah 2 candidate Abdul Majid is the Harinakundu upazila chairman, and Jamalpur 4 candidate Faridul Kabir Talukder is the Sharishabari upazila chairman.
Earlier, 10 other BNP candidates lost their candidacies due to HC orders issued in several phases.
BNP Standing Committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said they suspect more seats will become vacant through similar processes.
He urged the Election Commission to give BNP a chance to submit new candidates for the constituencies where candidates were disqualified.
In a letter to the EC on Thursday, the party asked the commission to either give them a chance to nominate new candidates for each of the vacant seats, or to postpone voting in the constituencies to ensure a fair and competitive election.
Meanwhile, uncertainty surrounds 25 BNP candidates from 20-party alliance partner Jamaat-e-Islami, as writ petitions have been filed challenging the legality of their candidature.
On December 18, the High Court asked the Election Commission to dispose of the writs filed against the 25 BNP candidates from Jamaat within three days. On Thursday, the EC said it would make a decision on the matter by Monday.
The High Court cancelled Jamaat's registration with the Election Commission on August 1, 2013. The Election Commission issued a gazette notification confirming the cancellation of the Islamist party’s registration on October 29 this year.
Jamaat had openly sided with Pakistani forces in 1971 and actively tried to thwart the country's struggle for freedom. Several of its top leaders have been convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity.