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Opposition demand met

EC bill becomes law with President’s assent

Published : 30 Jan 2022 10:32 PM

The President has assented to the EC formation bill and it has now become a law much demanded by some opposition political parties including BNP.

Accordingly, the demand of the opposition has been fulfilled.

The enactment of the EC law has been acclaimed as a smart job done by the government from different quarters from home and abroad as the law will pave the way for a smooth election. 

The EU has hailed the decision of the government to invite poll observers from abroad. It can be recalled that European ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whitely very recently said he did not see any sign that the decision on US sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) was having an impact on European business interest in Bangladesh or their desire to take that business forward.

BNP has been repeatedly making the same mistakes, for which, they are in a dilemma whether to support the law or oppose it.

But the law should not be a cause for concern or woes of the BNP as the government through enactment of this law has taken further steps towards institutionalization of democracy.

BNP on different pretexts did not join the discussion on the reformation of the EC held by President. It was the part of lame excuses that BNP finds to boycott election. But the Awami League with Sheikh Hasina joined the President’s discussion. The AL never boycotted any election-either legal or illegal- in order to maintain constitutional continuity.

President M Abdul Hamid has assented to the bill for formation of Election Commission (EC), which was passed in the first session of 2022 of 11th Jatiya Sangsad (JS).

According to a handout issued on Sunday, the President on Saturday assented to the bill titled ‘Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners Appointment Bill-2022’. The next commission will be formed in accordance with the new law.

Law Minister Anisul Huq placed the bill in Parliament on January 23. The bill was passed in the House on January 27. 

However, the gazette on the bill was published on Sunday (January 30). According to the gazette, the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners Appointment Act, 2022, will take effect immediately.

As per the new law, the President now will appoint a six-member search committee to recommend names of qualified candidates to fill the vacancies of the CEC and ECs as well as formation of the next EC that will oversee the 12th Parliamentary polls.  

A judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court will lead the six-member search committee. The other members of the committee will be a judge from the High Court nominated by the Chief Justice, the Comptroller and Auditor General  of Bangladesh, the Chairman of the Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC), and two prominent citizens nominated by the President, one of whom will be a woman. 

The committee will recommend names of 10 people after scrutinising their qualifications. The President will form the five-member commission from them. Within 15 working days of the committee’s formation, they will submit their recommendations to the President.

On February 14, the current Election Commission, led by KM Nurul Huda, will complete its term.

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