EC hails search panel proposal
Chief election commissioner Dr ATM Shamsul Huda on Monday claimed that the president’s proposal to form a search committee is a matter of success of the Election Commission. “We had a proposal that the government should form a search committee for the appointment of the election commissioners.
As the Honorable President has taken up the initiative to form a search committee, we can claim the step as our success. The President, however, has brought some changes in the EC’s proposal in this regard,” Shamsul Huda told reporters after a meeting at the EC secretariat. After holding dialogue with the 23 political parties for appointing new election commissioners in the EC, the president’s office sent a proposal to form a five-member search committee, to the Cabinet Division to constitute a new election commission comprising a judge of High Court Division, chairman of the Public Service Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General and chairman of the Anti-corruption Commission, headed by a justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.
The CEC welcomed the president’s proposal to form a search committee for the appointment of a new EC. “We are happy with the president’s initiative. If it can be made a law and works properly it would be the first step in the right direction,” he observed.
Huda said, “Appointment of election commissioners was not transparent in the past. But now people will be informed who are going to be appointed in the posts of election commissioners through the search committee.”
About reappointment of the incumbent EC, the CEC said, “We did not have any discussion with the government or the President in this regard.”
Some political parties recommended to the President for the reappointment of the incumbent EC. Shamsul Huda said, “We feel elated regarding reappointment of the present EC. The present EC’s performance is praiseworthy to some political parties,” he added.
“We did not know about the activities of the government or the President in this connection. After sending the reform proposals, we did not discuss with the government,” Huda said.
Replying to a query on sending reform proposal to the prime minister, Shamsul Huda said, “We sought appointment with the PM. We will meet with PM when she fixes the date,” he added.
President Md Zillur Rahman recommended to the Cabinet for forming a search committee to reconstitute the EC.
President Zillur Rahman has conveyed his desire that immediate measures be taken to form a ‘search committee’ to constitute the new Election Commission.
Bangabhaban sources said the President conveyed his desire to form the search committee as most of the political parties in the dialogue proposed formulation of rules in light of the Article 118 of the Constitution to form a search committee to appoint the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners.
Talking to The Independent President’s secretary M Shafiul Alam said if the government wanted to enact a law in line with the President’s proposal they would send it to the law ministry.
However, the government can also form the search committee through promulgating an ordinance, he added.