Search committee  publishes 322 names proposed for Election Commission

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Dhaka, Feb 14: The search committee to recommend names for the next Election Commission has published 322 names proposed by political parties, groups of professionals, eminent citizens and individuals.

The names include mostly retired people from a range of professions.

The list was uploaded on the Cabinet Division’s website on Monday evening after the end of the extended deadline for the submission of names.

Different political parties, professional bodies, eminent persons and individuals proposed the names.

Educationist Prof Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Dhaka University former Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of the board of directors of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Professor Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, Journalist Ajay Dasgupta, Advocate Sultana Kamal, World University Vice-Chancellor Prof Abdul Mannan Chowdhury, former chief information commissioner Prof Golam Rahman, National University former VC Prof Harun-or-Rashid, former adviser Dr Mufia Rahman, educationist Prof Syed Manjoorul Islam are among the 322 names.

The committee on Sunday extended the deadline by a day as the BNP and 14 other registered political parties did not submit names, expressing distrust in the process to appoint chief election commissioner and commissioners.

Many of the eminent citizens who took part in the talks with the committee on Saturday and Sunday urged the panel to publicise the proposed names and extend the deadline for the submission of names.

The committee was urged to select honest, competent and courageous people who espouse the spirit of the Liberation War.

There were calls to diversify the pool of potential candidates for the commission by including women along with representatives of minority groups to encourage vulnerable voters.

The eminent citizens also stressed the need to filter out those with partisan ties in their search to ensure a fair and unbiased Election Commission.

President Md Abdul Hamid formed the search committee headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan ahead of the end of the KM Nurul Huda-led commission’s tenure. The commission completes its five-year term on Monday.

The other members of the EC search committee are Justice SM Kuddus Zaman, Comptroller and Auditor General Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, Bangladesh Public Service Commission Chairman Sohorab Hossain, former election commissioner Sohul Hussain and fiction writer Anwara Syed Haq.

According to the law, the committee will propose a list of 10 nominees to the president within 15 working days from its formation, with two candidates for each of the five positions, including that of the chief election commissioner.