New EC: Search committee shortlists 20 candidates

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Dhaka, Feb 19: The search committee appointed to recommend suitable candidates for the next Election Commission has shortlisted 20 candidates from over 300 names proposed by the political parties, eminent citizens and individuals.

“Twenty eligible candidates have been shortlisted in today’s meeting. The list will be finalized after a couple of meetings,” Cabinet Division’s Secretary (coordination and reforms) Md Shamsul Arefin told the media on Saturday.

The panel will have at least two more meetings before finalizing the recommendations to bring it down to ten, he said.

Another meeting is scheduled for 4pm on Sunday, added the senior bureaucrat.

Justice Obaidul Hassan who heads the committee led the meeting at the Supreme Court Judge’s Lounge.

Search committee members High Court Division Justice SM Kuddus Zaman, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Mohammed Sohrab Hossain, former Election Commissioner Mohammed Sohul Hossain and Writer Prof Anwara Syed Haq joined the meeting.

The search committee will need to shorten the list to ten candidates before submitting it to the president.

According to the law, the committee will recommend 10 names, two for each member of the Election Commission.

The president will then finalize the five-member commission that will carry out the next national election.

The recommended candidates must meet the following requirements as per the law: have to be a Bangladeshi citizen, be at least 50 years of age and have 20-years of relevant experience.

Earlier, the search committee held meetings with 47 eminent personalities in four phases for suggestions in forming the next EC.

On February 14, the Cabinet Division, which is providing secretarial support to the search committee, published 322 names that the political parties, professional bodies and individuals proposed to include in the search committee on its website.