Elections to BNP chairperson and senior vice chairman will be held on March 19, the day when party’s long awaited national council takes place. Election commissioner for the elections of the two top most leaders and party standing committee member Jamiruddin Sircar yesterday announced the election schedule at a press conference at party’s headquarters at Naya Paltan in the city.
The election schedule was announced amid uncertainties over its venue in Dhaka as the party leaders accused the police of sitting on their applications to confirm it.
According to the schedule, aspiring candidates will be able to collect nomination papers from the party office in between 10:00am and 4:00pm from 2 March. The nomination papers will have to be submitted before the returning officer or assistant returning officer on March 4.
Standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan has been appointed as returning office and BNP chairperson’s adviser MA Mannan as assistant returning officer.
The returning officer or assistant returning officer will scrutinise the nomination papers on 5 March. The last date for withdrawal of candidature has been fixed on March 6.
Barrister Sircar told reporters the candidates for the two posts must be an active party member, minimum 30 years old or above and who pays his/her party subscription fees on a regular basis.
Party insiders however observed that the incumbent party chairperson Khaleda Zia and senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman will be elected unopposed and thus they hope that none will contest the polls to the two topmost posts against them.
The party will hold its national council session on 19 March after six years although the party constitution stipulates that party’s council session should be held in every three years.
The elderly leader said the candidates for party chairperson and senior vice chairman may collect, submit, withdraw their nomination papers and present during the counting the votes their own or through their nominated agents.
He hoped that the government would not create any obstruction in holding the council.
Meanwhile, BNP vice chairman Maj (Retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed yesterday said he does not think that there would be anyone contesting against party chairperson Khaleda Zia.
“Khaleda Zia, who is the most popular political personality in the country, is the incumbent chairperson of the BNP. Thus, I do not think that there will be anyone to contest against her though there is a scope,” he said while talking to reporters after placing wreath at the mazar of later President Ziaur Rahman to mark the founding anniversary of Jatiyatabadi Motshayajibi Dal.
Replying to a question, the BNP leader said it was the results of movement by Awami League but they have forgotten it and concentrated on attacking the media personalities.