BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who was recently jailed for five years in a graft case, cannot contest the next general election in the present context, the chief election commissioner said today.
But if she moves an appeal before the Supreme Court against her conviction and the court permit her to contest the election, she can run the election, CEC AKM Nurul Huda said.
He was talking to reporters after a courtesy call on Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain at his SC office.
The CEC said he was a lower court judge once upon a time and he feels at this moment that Khaleda cannot contest the election.
He said the SC has two separate verdicts over the issue. One judgment said if anybody is convicted and sentenced to two or more years' in jail by the lower court for moral turpitude, he or she can contest the election until the appeal is not settled by the apex court.
In another judgment, the apex court said a convict cannot contest the election, the CEC said.
Now, it depends on SC whether she can contest the election, he added.
Khaleda landed in jail on February 8 after a special court sentenced her to five years' rigorous imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, dealing a severe blow to BNP ahead of the upcoming national elections.