In January this year, BNP removed section 7 of their constitution. Later, this amended constitution was submitted to the Election Commission (EC). This amendment was aimed at keeping imprisoned BNP Chairperson Begum Zia who has been convicted in corruption cases and acting chairman Tarique Zia who has been living a fugitive life with corruption and attempt to murder charges against him in party`s leadership. Because, under section 7 of BNP`s constitution, the title of `Incompetence of the committee member` said, `The following people will be considered as unqualified for national council, national executive committee, national standing committee or will be ineligible for the parliamentary election. They are: (a) the person who was sentenced by the President`s order number 8 of 1972. (B) bankrupt, (c) person with insanity, (d) person known as corrupt or notorious in society.
Meanwhile, the High Court directed not to accept BNP`s amended constitution. The High Court issued this directive on October 31 in an opinion of a writ. The High Court has also asked EC to explain within a month why the amendment of BNP`s constitution is not illegal. The certified copy of the High Court verdict has recently reached to the Election Commission.
It is known that the Election Commission has decided to act according to the High Court verdict. Election Commission secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said that since we are not an opponent of the verdict and the verdict is not in any way contradictory with the election process, so, the Election Commission will not be affected. Because of this, the EC decided not to make an appeal against this verdict in the higher court.
According to EC sources, a letter will be given to BNP today or tomorrow. It will be said in the letter that since the amended constitution of BNP is not acceptable, the party has to send a list containing the names of the new leaders soon excluding the convicted persons in the leadership.
The EC sources also said that if the list of the new leadership of BNP is not sent to the Election Commission, steps will be taken according to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) and according to the rules of the political party registration.
It is to be noted that according to RPO and rules of the political party registration, the EC can suspend and cancel the registration of any political party. However, the EC does not have any provision in these two laws, through which they interrupt to include or exclude any section of the constitution of any political party. Apart from this, there is no specific provision of EC to accept or dismiss any party constitution.