EC search committee to submit 10 names today

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All eyes are fixed on the Bangabhaban as President M Abdul Hamid will get the search committee’s 10 names to constitute an Election Commission (EC) with picking up one for the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and four others for election commissioners (ECs).

“The search committee, which was assigned to make a short list to help the President to form a strong and acceptable election commission, will hand over a list to him tomorrow evening,” President’s press secretary Md Joynal Abedin told BSS.

He said the President, in line with the “Appointments of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Act-2022”, would finalize the names of CEC and other four election commissioners from the list to be placed before him at 7:30 pm on Thursday.

The names of EC will be disclosed hopefully very shortly, the Bangabhaban spokesman added.

Earlier, Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam, who is also the secretary of the search committee, said the committee has finalized the 10 suitable candidates — names of two candidates for the post of CEC and eight others for the four posts of election commissioner.

The cabinet secretary added that the search committee has selected 10 people from the proposed names.

Headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, the other EC search committee members are: Justice SM Quddus Zaman of the High Court Division, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Mohammed Sohrab Hossain, former Election Commissioner Mohammed Sohul Hossain and Writer Prof Anwara Syed Haq.

During this period, the search committee held seven meetings and four meetings with 47 eminent personalities to garner suggestions over the EC formation.

On February 14, the Cabinet Division, which is providing secretarial support to the search committee, published 322 names that the political parties, professional bodies and individuals proposed for inclusion by the search committee on its website.

The names of a few people are found more than once by checking and sorting the list. After the correction, there were 315 names in the list. Later the names of the list were reduced to 50 people, subsequently 20 and finally 10 names.

Several parties including BNP and CPB did not give any list to the search committee.

At the very beginning, the President held talks with the registered political parties, where BNP and a few others refused to hold sittings over EC formation.

Meanwhile, almost all political parties, including the ruling Awami League and main opposition in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Jatiya Party (JaPa) took part in the discussion.

They proposed to enact a new law to ensure a strong and acceptable EC to hold free, fair and credible general elections in the days to come.

In the midst of much discussion and criticism, the parliament passed the law over EC formation procedure on January 27.

Later, the President formed a six-member EC search committee under it on February 5.