EC search committee finalises 10 names

The search committee, tasked with making recommendations for appointments to the next Election Commission, has finalised the names of 10 people to submit to the president for picking the chief election commissioner and four other commissioners.

The committee will send the list of names to the president on February 24, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told journalists after the panel’s meeting yesterday at the Supreme Court Judges Lounge.

“The committee has finalised 10 names. The committee members will hand over the list to the president on February 24,” he said.

Asked about who are in the list, the secretary said, “I’m not a committee member. We have given them only secretariat support. So, I cannot say.”

In reply to a query whether there is any female member in the proposed list, he made the same comment.

Meeting sources said ex-bureaucrats, ex-army officials, former judges, university teachers and social workers make up the final nominations.

A source in the committee said they proposed two names for the post of CEC who do not have experience of serving in the bureaucracy.

Sources said the names discussed for the next EC are former cabinet secretary Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, former cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam, former secretary Habibul Awal, ex-army chief Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan, former secretary Ujjwal Bikash Dutta, justice (retd) Nazmun Ara Sultana, former Dhaka University VC AAMS Arefin Siddique, DU teacher Sadeka Halim, local government expert Tofail Ahmed, President of Fair Election Monitoring Alliance (FEMA) Munira Khan, Economist Mansur Ahmed and former principal secretary Abdul Karim.

The Daily Star, however, could not independently verify the names.

After the search committee formation on February 5, they asked political parties, professional bodies and individuals to submit their nominations. In response, the committee received 322 names.

The committee held meetings with eminent citizens, media personalities, university teachers and election experts to know their views and suggestions over formation of the election commission.

Following their recommendations, the committee published all the 322 names, but it did not publish the names of the final nominations.

Meeting sources said revealing the names before sending them to the president would be “discourteous”, and some quarters may also create controversy over it.

The BNP and some other opposition parties did not propose any names, citing no confidence in the search committee.

The previous two search committees, formed in 2012 and 2017, did not disclosed proposed names despite demands from political parties.

On February 5, the six-member search committee was formed under the “Appointments of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Act-2022” and the committee held its first meeting the following day and sought names for the EC appointments.

As per the EC law, the committee will propose 10 names — two names against each post — to the president who will then appoint the CEC and other four ECs.

 

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