Nomination of Awami League’s Shammi cancelled, Pankaj’s approved

Awami League leader Shammi Ahmed (R) and Pankaj Nath

The election commission (EC) has rejected governing Awami League candidate Shammi Ahmed’s nomination for Barishal-5 (Hijla-Mejhendiganj) constituency for the forthcoming 12th parliamentary election.

The EC at the same time approved independent candidate Pankaj Nath’s nomination.

Returning officer and deputy commissioner of Barishal, Md Shahidul Islam, made the declaration on their candidacy at 3:45 pm on Monday after scrutinising the nomination papers.

The returning officer said the nomination paper of Shammi Ahmed, who is the international affairs secretary of the ruling party, has been declared illegal over dual citizenship as per article 66 of the constitution.

The Article 66(2) states a person shall be disqualified for election as, or for being, a Member of Parliament who acquires the citizenship of, or affirms or acknowledges allegiance to, a foreign state.

The returning officer’s declaration came a day after independent candidate Pankaj Nath raised an allegation against Shammi Ahmed of holding dual citizenship on Sunday.

Shammi Ahmed accused Pankaj Nath of concealing information on his ownership of Bihanga Paribahan being operated in Dhaka.

Awami League picked Shammi Ahmed, leaving the incumbent lawmaker Pankaj Nath, as its candidate for the next general election.

In the beginning, supporters of Pankaj Nath said he would not contest the 12th parliamentary election. However, he submitted nomination paper online all on a sudden on 28 November.