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Dhaka Tribune

Who is Mohammed Shahabuddin, the next president of Bangladesh?

Shahabuddin has served various political and state roles

Update : 13 Feb 2023, 03:53 PM

Awami League leader Mohammed Shahabuddin is all set to become the next occupant of Bangabhaban as the 22nd president of Bangladesh.

The Awami League Parliamentary Party had nominated Shahabuddin, a former commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission, a retired district and sessions judge, and a freedom fighter, to run for president, General Secretary Obaidul Quader told the media on Sunday.

The deadline for the submission ended at 4pm, and Shahabuddin became the president-elect by default as no other party had picked a candidate for the election.

He was all set to be elected even if there had been another candidate as the Awami League has an absolute majority in parliament. Awami League lawmakers hold 302 out of 350 seats in the House.

Early life and education background

Shahabuddin was born in 1949 and had a distinguished political career from a young age, starting in his student years. 

Shahabuddin completed his MSc degree from Rajshahi University in 1974. Then he obtained an LLB degree in 1975 from the same institution. 

Political, professional achievements

Hailing from Pabna, a northern district of Bangladesh, Shahabuddin has served various political and state roles. 

He served as the president of the Pabna District unit Chattra League and Jubo League in the 1970s.

During the Liberation War in 1971, Shahabuddin was a key player in the northern region, serving as a student leader and the convener of the Swadhin Bangla Chattra Sangram Parishad. 

Along with former Awami League presidium member Mohammad Nasim, he played a crucial role in the Pabna district during the war. 

Shahabuddin actively participated in the Liberation War as a freedom fighter and after the independence of Bangladesh, he again got involved in politics.

In 1975, after the assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Shabuddin got arrested and was in prison for three years because he was against the newly formed government that took the charge after Bangabandhu. 

After getting released from prison Shahabuddin went to India to meet his colleagues who were there at that time.

In 1982, Shahabuddin joined the BCS (Judicial) Department and concurrently held the position of publicity secretary for the Pabna district unit Awami League. 

He remained dedicated to his profession and was elected as the general secretary of the Judicial Service Association in 1995. 

Additionally, he was appointed by the Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs as a coordinator in the Bangabandhu assassination case.

After the general election of 2001, he served as the chairman of the judicial inquiry commission formed to investigate the murder, rape, looting, and anti-humane activities committed by the leaders and workers of the BNP-Jamaat alliance.

After a 25-year career as a judge, including various positions, Shahabuddin retired as a District and Sessions Judge in 2006.

From 2011 to 2016, Sahabuddin served as the commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

After retirement, Shahabuddin once again became actively involved in politics and was appointed as a member of the Advisory Council of the Awami League in 2020.

In 2022, Shahabuddin was selected as the Chairman of the Awami League's Publicity and Publications cell after the passing of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's former advisor HT Imam, filling the vacant post.

In the recent national council of the Awami League, Shahabuddin served as the election commissioner. 

Shahabuddin serves as vice chairman of the Board of Directors of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. He represents JMC Builders Ltd on the board. 

He also works as an advisor for NRB Global Bank Ltd.

Mohammed Shahabuddin also worked as a journalist for Daily BanglarBani from 1980-1982.

He is engaged in various social, educational and cultural organizations in the country.

Shahabuddin has traveled to various countries around the world and actively participated in many local and international seminars, symposiums, workshops, and conferences on Case Management and Court Management, hosted by the Judicial Training Academy.

He also attended as the representative of Bangladesh at the International Seminar in Beijing, capital of China, organized by the Commonwealth on Prevailing Law in Bangladesh.

Personal life

Shahabuddin and his wife, Professor Rebeka Sultana, a former joint secretary of the government, have one son.

In recent years, Shahabuddin has been actively expressing his opinions and writing articles for various newspapers. He is also active on social media platforms.

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