The ruling Awami League wants an established politician to be the next president of Bangladesh with top leaders discounting the possibility of a civil society member or a bureaucrat succeeding Md Abdul Hamid when his term expires in April.
The AL leaders say three names have emerged as potential candidates for the state’s top job, including the incumbent president. But whether the 74-year-old is elected for a second consecutive term will depend on his health.
Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam and former information minister Abul Kalam Azad are also reportedly being considered for the post.
Awami League sources say the next president will be someone loyal to the country and the party, a well-known person with a clean image who has made sacrifices in their political career.
Two members of the party’s presidium, who both declined to be named, said the next president will be a person who is capable of skilfully facing any untoward situation and who has acceptability in all quarters.
This is because the next parliamentary election will likely take place this year, and so there could be various conspiracies to create instability.
A senior minister said no one from the civil society or from among the bureaucrats would be made the president, due to the “bitter experience” of the past.
Law Minister Anisul Huq has said the election to choose the next president will be held on February 19. The Election Commission, however, has said it is yet to take any final decision about the presidential poll.
President Hamid’s tenure will end on April 24. As per the law, the election to choose his successor must be held no earlier than 90 days but no later than 60 days before the tenure ends.
In that case, the election to pick the next president will be held between January 24 and February 22.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com