Bangladesh court bars ex-PM from contesting election

Khaleda Zia, leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was prime minister twice and was sentenced in February on corruption charges. (Reuters)
Updated 27 November 2018

Bangladesh court bars ex-PM from contesting election

  • Khaleda Zia and other senior BNP figures imprisoned for corruption had appealed to have their convictions suspended so they could contest next month’s general elections
  • Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told media after the verdict that a convict can only qualify as a candidate once five years have elapsed since the completion of their jail term

DHAKA: Former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia cannot contest upcoming elections because of her five-year jail term, the country’s High Court ruled on Tuesday.

Zia, who leads the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was prime minister twice and was sentenced in February on corruption charges.

She and other senior BNP figures imprisoned for corruption had appealed to have their convictions suspended so they could contest next month’s general elections.

But the High Court said those with jail terms of more than two years are ineligible to run even if they have appeals pending.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told media after the verdict that a convict can only qualify as a candidate once five years have elapsed since the completion of their jail term.

The BNP figures were given terms ranging from eight to 20 years in different corruption cases.

Alam said their suspension requests were filed before any court had overturned their convictions.

He was asked about a ruling party minister who was acquitted last month by the High Court on a corruption charge.

Alam said he did not know what arguments had been made for Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya at the High Court, but the constitution is clear on electoral candidates and criminal convictions.

Maya was sentenced a decade ago. Alam said five years had yet to pass since the completion of the jail term.


Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

Updated 3 min 10 sec ago

Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

  • Protesters managed to stop the truck and beat up the driver, who was later arrested by police
  • A New York City Police car earlier drove into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: A tanker truck drove through thousands of people marching on a Minneapolis highway to protest the death of George Floyd on Sunday before protesters dragged the driver from the cab and beat him, according to a Reuters witness and authorities.
It did not appear any of the marchers were injured when the truck raced toward them on I-35, blowing its horn, sending protesters scattering before coming to a stop, according to the witness and a tweet by the Minnesota Department of Public Security (MNDPS).
Police arrived soon after and arrested the truck driver, who was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, MNDPS said.
Video of the incident shows protesters swarming the vehicle before it comes to a stop.

Protesters hand over to police the driver of a tanker truck after he drove into a crowd marching on 35W north bound highway in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 31, 2020. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

“The incident just underscores the volatile situation we have out there,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz told a news conference, adding he did not know the motives of the driver.
It marked the second incident in as many days of a vehicle driving at people protesting Floyd’s death after a New York City Police car was captured on video on Saturday driving into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects.
“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” MNDPS tweeted.
Video showed the truck had a logo on its side for “Kenan Advantage Group,” an Ohio-based transportation company.
The company said in a statement that it was informed of an incident involving one of its independent contractors in Minneapolis and it would be cooperating with investigating authorities.
MNDPS did not identify the driver but said the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were investigating the incident as a criminal matter.