** More curbs on govt officials’ foreign trips ** Children take bath in the Buriganga River in Dhaka to ward off the scorching summer heat. This photo was taken from Buriganga embankment on Monday. NN photo ** Taposh wants shops shut early ** Economists differ with 6.22 per cent inflation rate rather it is about 12 per cent ** Public transport services in capital New law with a provision Tk 5 crore fine on cards ** Sweden takes formal decision to apply for NATO membership ** Drug Admin bans eight types of medicines ** Interpol's Dhaka office requests India to send PK Halder back to Bangladesh ** Dollar price jumps to Tk87.50 ** PK Halder to be brought back following set procedure: FM ** Sri Lanka out of petrol, economy in a precarious condition: PM Wickremesinghe ** Social resistance against grabbers a must to protect Tangail, Gazipur hillocks ** PK Halder on 3-day remand in West Bengal ** In front of Gulshan Society Mosque in the capital, a vested quarter filling parts of Gulshan-Banani Lake creating a land bridge effectively bypassing security checkpoints that protect Gulshan North Diplomatic Zone. This photo was taken on Sunday. NN photo ** All necessary steps will be taken to bring PK Halder back: AG ** Russia's ‘brutal invasion’ of Ukraine is faltering: NATO ** Vladimir Putin ‘seriously ill’: Ex British spy claimed ** It may take three to six months to bring back PK Halder: ACC prosecutor ** Ten killed in ‘racially motivated’ shooting in Buffalo, US ** People stand in queue to buy mustard oil from a small mill at Bata Signal in the Elephant Road area of Dhaka on Sunday. One customer is allowed to buy maximum 2 litres of oil, depending on production. Agency photo ** Fugitive chops off policeman's hand in Ctg ** PK Halder hooked in Kolkata: Government's easy plundering policy created too many such cases ** One of PK Halder's mansions in Ward No. 15 of Ashoknagar in North 24 Parganas district which has been sealed by the ED. Photo: Collected ** Scamstar PK Halder arrested in India ** Worse still to come, Lanka’s new PM warns **

EC formation Bill to be placed in parliament today

23 January 2022

The much-talked-about Bill, "Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners Bill-2022", will be placed in parliament on (Sunday) as the government wants to have a law in this regard as per the Constitution.
According to the business schedule of Sunday's parliament sitting, Law Minister Anisul Haq will place the draft law on the Election Commission formation.
After placing of the proposed law, the law minister will propose to send the Bill to the parliamentary standing committee on the respective ministry for scrutiny and submit it before the House, according to a notice on parliament activities.
The Cabinet, in its Monday's meeting held at the Cabinet Room of the Jatiya Sangsad with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, cleared the draft Bill.
As per the proposed law, a search committee will be formed taking approval from the President over the constitution of the Election Commission.
The search committee will recommend the names of suitable candidates before the President to appoint the CEC and other election commissioners," the Bill says.
The move came just one month before the expiry of five-year tenure of incumbent Election Commission, led by CEC KM Nurul Huda, as it is going to complete its five-year term in mid-February.
Qualifications of CEC and election commissioners are: they must be Bangladeshi citizens with minimum 50 years of age, and have at least 20 years of work experience in important government, semi-government, private or judicial posts.
If a person is declared 'insane' by any court; has not been released from the jail after being declared as 'bankruptcy'; acquires the citizenship of or affirms the allegiance to, a foreign country surrendering Bangladeshi citizenship; has been convicted for a criminal offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced to at least two-year imprisonment; convicted by international crime tribunal; and is disqualified for such posts by or under any law, he or she would not be eligible for the post of CEC and election commissioners.
A person once held the post of CEC or the Chief Justice, he or she would not be eligible for the post of the CEC. But if a person held the post of election commissioner, he or she might be considered for appointment to the CEC.
In order to give legal protection to the constitution of previous election commissions, it would be considered that these were made under this law, he said.
A justice of the Appellate Division, nominated by the Chief Justice, will be the head of the six-member search committee.
The five other members will be a justice of the High Court Division nominated by the Chief Justice, the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Chairman of the Bangladesh Public Service Commission, two other personalities nominated by the President.
Though the Constitution suggests the appointment of the CEC and other election commissioners under a law, the law was not formulated in the past.
The Article 118 (1) of the Constitution states, "There shall be an Election Commission for Bangladesh consisting of 1[the Chief Election Commissioner and not more than four Election Commissioners] and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (if any) shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf, be made by the President."
What done in the past
In the past, the President appointed the CEC and commissioners in absence of the law.
The last two election commissions, headed by Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed and KM Nurul Huda, were constituted through search committees formed by the President following his dialogues with political parties.
The President picked the CEC and four election commissioners in 2012 and 2017 from the names suggested by the search committee.
This time, President Abdul Hamid also started a dialogue with registered political parties on December 20 last to discuss the issues related to the constitution of the Election Commission ahead of the 12th general election to be held at the end of 2023 or the early 2024.
According to Article 118 (1) of the Constitution, the Bill will be brought to give a legal shield to the appointments of the CEC and elections commissioners to form the EC.
According to the sources at the parliament secretariat, the parliamentary watchdog on the law ministry will not be given much time for scrutiny of the Bill and to submit their report before the House as the proposed legislature is likely to be passed in the ongoing session of parliament and new election commissioners will be appointed in line with the new law.
The tenure of the incumbent KM Nurul Huda-led election commission will expire on February 14.
The cabinet approved the draft of appointing CEC and other election commissioners on January 17-the day the ruling Awami League led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held dialogue with President Abdul Hamid at the Bangabhaban on formation of the next EC.

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