President forms new EC: Nurul Huda next CEC

President forms new EC: Nurul Huda next CEC

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Dhaka, Feb 6 – President Abdul Hamid on Monday constituted the new Election Commission (EC) making former secretary KM Nurul Huda the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
He also appointed four new election commissioners — former additional secretary Mahbub Talukder, ex-secretary Rafiqul Islam, ex-district and session’s judge Begum Kabita Khanam and Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury.The President appointed them from the 10 names proposed by the search committee, said Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam at a press conference at the Secretariat around 9:30pm.
He said the search panel proposed the names of Nurul Huda and ex-cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder for the post of the CEC.
The cabinet secretary said neither Awami League nor BNP proposed Huda and Imam’s names.
Of them, the President picked Nurul Huda, who went on retirement in 2006, for the post.
The search panel also proposed other eight names — Mahbub Talukder, Rafiqul Islam, Kabita Khanam, Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury, Dhaka University teacher Prof Dr Zarina Rahman Khan, local government expert Dr Tofail Ahmed, ex-planning commission member Abdul Mannan and BUP Pro-VC Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah, Shafiul said.
Of the four election commissioners, Kabita Khanam’s name was in Awami league’s list while Mahbub Talukder’s name was there in BNP’s list.
Asked when the new CEC and the four election commissioners will be sworn in, the Cabinet secretary said the Election Commission Secretariat will decide it.
Earlier, the six-member search committee has accomplished its task before the deadline by placing 10 names to Abdul Hamid.
The search body chief, Supreme Court’s Appellate Division Judge Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, along with other members placed the list of 10 persons to the President at a meeting that began around 6:30pm.
Before going to the presidential palace, the search panel had a nearly two-hour meeting at the Supreme Court Judges’ Lounge where they finalised the names of 10 people to propose those to the President.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Additional Cabinet Secretary Abdul Wadud said 10 names were picked from the names submitted by 25 political parties.
On January 25 last, the President formed the search committee, headed by Syed Mahmud Hossain, to propose prospective names of CEC and other commissioners by February 8 as the tenure of the current EC expires next week.
The other members of the search panel include Justice Obaidul Hassan, Public Service Commission Chairman Muhammed Sadique, Dhaka University Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam, Chittagong University Pro-Vice-chancellor Shireen Akhter, and Comptroller Auditor General Masud Ahmed.
At their first meeting, the search panel urged each of the 31 registered political parties, which took part in the presidential talks, to propose names of five prospective election commissioners of their choice.
The body requested the parties to submit the list of names to the additional secretary of the cabinet division, which was carrying out the secretarial job of the search committee, by 11:00am on 31 January.
The search panel talked to 16 noted citizens in two separate sittings and took their opinions about the EC reconstitution.
Responding to the search panel’s call, 25 political parties submitted names of 125 people to it on January 31 for appointing the next CEC and election commissioners.
The same day, the search committee prepared a shortlist with 20 people’s names from 125 submitted by the political parties.
On Thursday last, the search body at a meeting further reviewed the 20 shortlisted names, but could not finalise the 10 names and decide to meet again on Monday. – UNB

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