EC formation: Search committee seeks names from political parties, civil society

Committee to sit with civil society, media personalities on Saturday and Sunday next week, political parties can send recommendations through email

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The search committee to form the next Election Commission will take recommendations from registered political parties, civil society, media personalities, and the general people before submitting its shortlist of candidates to President Abdul Hamid.

The committee will recommend the names of candidates to the president within the next 15 working days, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said after the first meeting of the search committee at the Supreme Court judges’ lounge on Sunday.

“Today was the first meeting of the search committee, which has decided to form the new EC within these existing 15 working days. We will seek recommendations from the political parties registered with the Election Commission. In addition, interested people can send us their biodata or application,” he said.

The search committee will hold another meeting on Tuesday, before sitting with civil society and media personalities next Saturday and Sunday.

“Political parties can send the names of their candidates for the Election Commission to us by email, as we will not specifically sit with them,” said the cabinet secretary.

Individuals and registered political parties can each recommend up to 10 names by sending them to the email address [email protected] All recommendations must be submitted by 5pm on February 10. 

The search committee will shortlist 10 names from among the recommendations and send them to the president to form the new EC by the February 24 deadline,” he added.

The names of the 10 candidates will be made public if the president approves, Khandker Anwarul Islam further said. 

The names of EC candidates shortlisted by previous search committees had not been publicized.

The next Election Commission would be the first formed in the country after the enactment of the new EC appointment law. The government named the members of search committee on Saturday.

Justice Obaidul Hassan of the Appellate Division was named as the head of the panel, which also includes Justice SM Kuddus Zaman of the High Court Division.

The comptroller and auditor general, and chairman of the Bangladesh Public Service Commission have also been made members of the committee, as stipulated in the new law.

The government also named former election commissioner Muhammad Sohul Hussain and writer Anwara Syed Haq on the panel, in line with the provision to include two eminent citizens.

On January 30, the government published the gazette on the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Appointment Act 2022 after President Md Abdul Hamid signed the bill the previous day.

The law stipulated the assembling of the six-member search committee within 15 working days.

Lawmakers passed the bill in parliament on January 27.

The incumbent commission, led by Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, will finish its term on February 14.

The president opened talks with the political parties in late December to discuss the formation of the next commission.

Most of the political parties demanded the enactment of a law on the appointment of the Election Commission, as stipulated in the Constitution.

The talks ended with the president’s dialogue with ruling Awami League on January 17. Earlier the same day, the cabinet green lit the draft of the proposed law, which included a provision for a search committee for the appointments of election commissioners.

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