Latif’s membership case now in Election Commission’s court

Latif’s membership case now in Election Commission’s court

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Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury on Monday sent a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad over the parliament membership dispute of former Awami League minister Abdul Latif Siddique, stripped of the Awami League primary membership. He had been elected no the nomination of the AL.
“The letter sent by the Speaker reached the Commission around 3:30pm,” CEC personal secretary Mazharul Islam told journalists.
The case of Latif Siddique became alive very recently following his release on bail, and Islamist parties are demanding his rearrest and pubishmen for commenting against the Hajj and the Prophet (sm) and Tablig.The Election Commission had started examining various laws regarding Latif’s dispute even before the Speaker’s letter reached the CEC’s office on Monday, said EC officials.
In line with article 66 (4) of the Constitution and the Members of Parliament (Determination of Dispute) Act 1980, the Election Commission shall now hear and determine the dispute as well as shall inform its final decision to the Speaker within the next 120 days.
As per the Constitution, the EC’s decision on the dispute shall be final. The EC conducts general elections maintaining relevant procedures and announces results.
The commission will ask the parties concerned to submit statements in writing, if any, on the dispute before hearing it, according to the law.
After hearing and determining the dispute, the commission will inform its decision to the Speaker within 120 days of the receipt of statement of the Speaker.
Asked about the Commission’s next course of action, Election Commissioner Shah Nawaz told UNB that he would not say anything about it before seeing the content of the letter.
On July 7, the ruling AL informed the Speaker that Abdul Latif Siddique was expelled from the party’s primary membership through sending a letter eight months after the party axed Latif’s primary membership.
Siddique was dropped from the Cabinet on October 12 last and axed his party’s presidium post and primary membership on October 24 last amid waves of criticisms following his derogatory remarks on hajj and Tabligh Jamaat in the USA last year.
Earlier on September 28, 2014, former Posts and Telecommunications Minister Abdul Latif Siddique made the disparaging remarks hurting the religious sentiment at a views-exchange meeting with expatriates from Tangail in New York.
He was in jail for several months after being sued in a number of cases in Bangladesh for hurting the religious sentiment of Muslims.
The former AL leader was released from Dhaka Central jail on bail on June 29. – UNB

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