The six-member search committee, tasked with suggesting names for the formation of the next Election Commission, has called upon the registered political parties to send nominations for the posts of chief election commissioner (CEC) and other election commissioners (ECs).

The Cabinet Division issued a circular today, urging the registered political parties to recommend up to 10 names for CEC and ECs by 5pm Thursday.

Also, individuals interested to serve as either CEC or EC can also send their own names.

The names will have to be emailed to or directly to the Cabinet Division (snail mail) within this time, the circular added.

President Abdul Hamid formed the search committee, headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan, in line with the new law on forming the Election Commission.

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

The "Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners Act 2022" was published in an extraordinary gazette by the National Parliament.

Search committee

The search committee would take decisions on majority votes and in the case of equal votes, the meeting's chair would have the authority to cast the second or deciding vote as per the law.

The committee can seek names from political parties and professional organisations for the posts of CEC and ECs.

The search committee will recommend two names against each vacant post before the president.

The Cabinet Division will provide secretariat assistance to the committee.

On January 27 last, Parliament passed the Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners Bill 2022 to have a law under the Article 118 (1) of the Constitution. The president assented to the bill on January 29.

The government framed the law as the incumbent EC, headed by KM Nurul Huda, is set to fulfil its five-year tenure in mid-February.

In absence of this law, the president appointed the CEC and commissioners in the past.

The last two election commissions, headed by Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad and KM Nurul Huda, were constituted in 2012 and 2017 through search committees formed by the president following dialogues with political parties.

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