Draft of new law on EC formation to be placed in parliament Sunday

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Dhaka, Jan 22: The draft of a new law on the formation of the Election Commission, which includes a provision regarding a search panel for appointments, is set to be presented before the parliament during its first weekly session on Sunday.

Law Minister Anisul Huq will present the draft of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioner Appointment Act 2022 in parliament, proposing to send the bill to the Standing Committee on the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for scrutiny, according to a notice on parliament activities published on Saturday.

According to Article 118 (1) of the Constitution, the bill will be brought to give a legal shield to the appointments of the chief election commissioners and other commissioners to form the Election Commission.

“The parliamentary committee will not get much time to submit their report. The bill will be passed soon and new election commissioners will be appointed in line with the new law,” an official at the parliament said.

The tenure of the current Election Commission, led by CEC KM Nurul Huda, will expire on Feb 14.

The committee will get only 4 weeks to issue a gazette after passing the bill, the official added.

The cabinet, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, approved the draft on Monday amid political parties’ talks with President Abdul Hamid on EC formation.

“It’s a short act. It says that a search committee will be formed to provide recommendations to the president for appointing the chief election commissioner and election commissioner, as previous laws have,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam had previously told the media.

The draft law also notes the criteria for an individual to be appointed as an election commissioner, said the cabinet secretary.

“They must be a Bangladeshi national, at least 50 years old and must have worked in a government, semi-government, or private sector position or in the judiciary for at least 20 years,” he said.