Bikalpadhara proposes names of writer Zafar Iqbal, two others for EC search committee

The party has also nominated Rokeya Afzal Rahman, a former adviser to the caretaker government, and Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, a former cabinet secretary, during talks with President Abdul Hamid on the formation of the EC on Sunday.

Earlier, the Jatiya Party and Tarikat Federation had recommended their picks to the head of state but they did not disclose the names to the public.

After the dialogue, the party’s Senior Joint Secretary General Mahi B Chowdhury said, “We believe that the names we have proposed will be acceptable as election commissioners.”

The current Election Commission, led by Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, will end its tenure on Feb 14, 2022. The president has opened talks with registered political parties to discuss their views on the formation of a new Election Commission

Hamid had similarly appointed the outgoing election commissioners through a search committee after holding talks with the parties nearly five years ago.

In the absence of a law to appoint election commissioners, the power to appoint an election commissioner is vested in the president, in line with the Constitution. Late president Zillur Rahman had formed the previous Election Commission by selecting a committee to shortlist names of possible candidates for the posts of the election commissioners and their chief.

However, most of the parties participating in the talks this time have not proposed any name. Some parties, including BNP, are boycotting the talks.

Bikalpadhara chief and former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, did not attend the dialogue, with the party’s Secretary-General Abdul Mannan leading a seven-member delegation at Bangabhaban.

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The party stressed the need for the enactment of a law on the appointment of an EC but backed the formation of a search committee as an alternative, according to Mahi.

“We have also told the president that we will disclose these names. There is no shortage of acceptable people in Bangladesh. Bikalpadhara wants open politics.”

“It may take time to pass a law. If it is done in a hurry and the law is disputed, then the election system itself can be called into question. That is why the coordination of all parties will be required to make the law at this moment.”

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