Awami League lawmaker Saber Hossain Chowdhury on Thursday was elected as the chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a body of parliamentarians based in Geneva.
He is the first Bangladeshi to become the IPU president.
Only a week back Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury became the chairperson of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on October 9.
Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury is also the first Bangladeshi to adorn the post of CPA chairperson.
In the concluding session of the five-day assembly in Geneva, Switzerland the delegates elected Saber Hossain Chowdhury as the next president of the IPU established in 1989.
He beat three other contenders including his nearest contestant Bronwyn Bishop, the current speaker of the Australian House of Representatives.
Saber bagged 169 votes while Bronwyn got 95. SM Manzoor, the director of the public relations wing of the parliament secretariat, told the Dhaka Tribune.
Saber Hossain took the charge from his predecessor Abdelwahad Radi, a former speaker of the Moroccan House of representatives and will remain in the office for the next three years.
CPA Chairperson and Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury is also in Geneva to attend the IPU assembly. She is leading a 17-member Bangladesh delegation.
Saber’s election was very challenging for Bangladesh campaigners after Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury got elected as CPA chairperson. Diplomats faced a common question as to why Bangladesh should vie in the two bodies of parliamentarians.
“Malaysia voted against our candidate Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury as we rejected their proposal to withdraw Saber Hossain Chowdhury from the IPU president’s race,” whip Shahiduzzaman Sarker, who was one of the voters in the CPA election in Yaounde in Cameroon, said.
He said the personal reputation and international exposure helped Saber Hossain win the IPU election.
Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah and Chief Whip ASM Feroz thanked Saber Hossain for being elected as IPU president.
Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Textile and Jute Ministry Saber Hossain Chowdhury was born on September 10, 1961.
Being elected as a lawmaker he was given the portfolio of deputy minister for local government in 1996. He became an MP for the second time in 2008 and again on January 5 this year.
Being the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (1996-2001), Saber Hossain Chowdhury played very important role in getting the Test Status for Bangladesh cricket team.
Between 2001-2009 he served as the political secretary to Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina.