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Search panel’s first meeting

To ask names for ECs

Published : 06 Feb 2022 10:25 PM

The ‘Search Committee’ formed for reconstitution of the Election Commission would ask different political parties to propose names for the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other members of the Election Commissioner (EC), said officials concerned.

According to sources, the six-member ‘Search Committee’ took the decision at its first meeting held Sunday evening at Judges’ Lounge of the Supreme Court.

The sources also said that the ‘Search Committee’ also decided to hold talks with the personnel from the civil society, including senior journalists for taking of their opinions. In this regard, the ‘Search Committee’ would hold three separate meetings.

Chaired by Appellate Division Justice Obaidul Hasan, the meeting was attended by its five other members-- Justice SM Kuddus Zaman of High Court Division, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Mohammed Sohrab Hossain, former Election Commissioner Mohammed Sohul Hossain and Professor Anwara Syed Haq, who is also known to all as a prominent writer and columnist.

Besides, Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam also took part in the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam briefed the journalists about the decisions taken at the first meeting of the ‘Search Committee’.

The Cabinet Secretary said, as per the decisions taken at the first meeting, the ‘Search Committee’ would ask names from different political parties registered with the EC. The ‘Search Committee’ would also hold three separate meetings with the civil society and senior journalists to discuss about the reconstitution of the EC as well as appointment of the CEC and other members of the EC. 

Replying to a query, Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam further said the committee would chose 10 names as the CEC and EC members and those names would be sent to President Abdul Hamid before the tenure of the existing EC is ended on February 14.

He added that the Search Committee would hold its second meeting on next Tuesday.

It should be mentioned that the six-member committee was formed on Saturday to recommend eligible personnel for appointing the CEC and other EC members.

The search committee is authorised to reconstitute the EC to conduct the next general elections.

The committee has been asked to submit its recommendations before the President in line with the new law titled 'Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners’ Appointment Act 2022’.

President M Abdul Hamid signed the bill into the law on EC formation on January 30 last.  Earlier, the bill was approved in the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament).

The search committee is the outcome of a month-long dialogue between the President and registered political parties over the EC reconstitution.

The President previously started a dialogue with registered political parties on December 20 last year in this regard.

Most of the participating political parties, including the ruling Awami League, advocated for the enactment of a law alongside the formation of a search committee to ensure an independent and credible EC.

The incumbent government’s move to enact the law came nearly 50 years after the Constitution prescribed enacting a specific law for forming the EC.

Meanwhile, sources said, the newly formed search committee is expected to hold its first meeting today (Sunday, day after the committee was formed on Saturday.

Immediate after the committee was disclosed, its president Appellate Division Justice Obaidul Hasan of the Supreme Court on Saturday evening, however, said that he was yet to talk to other members of the search committee.

“Decision will be taken after talking to all other members of the committee”, said the search committee chief and continued as saying that they would keep updated to everybody about their decision through the media.

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