DHAKA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) — Ending all speculations, Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid has reconstituted the Election Commission to conduct the country’s 11th national elections slated for early 2019.
Hamid on Monday night appointed KM Nurul Huda, a former secretary, as the next chief election commissioner.
He also appointed Mahbub Talukder, a former additional secretary, Rafiqul Islam, a former secretary, Kobita Khanom, a former district and session judge, and Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury, a retired army officer, as commissioners.
The appointments came after a Presidential Search Committee submitted 10 names of prospective election commissioners to the president.
The search committee after examining 125 names proposed by 25 political parties prepared the list of 10.
Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told a press conference that President Hamid picked five names from the list of 10 recommended by the search committee.
The president’s dialogue initiative followed the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) demand for formation of an Election Commission through consultation with all parties.
Though initially Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) party rejected Zia’s demand, the party later said it is ready to accept the decision taken by President Hamid over formation of the Election Commission.
BNP, led by ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, came with its proposals as the term of the current Election Commission is to expire on Feb. 14.
BNP, which has alternated power with its arch rival the AL party since 1991, boycotted the election on Jan. 5, 2014 as its demand for polls under a non-party caretaker administration remained unfulfilled.