The Election Commission (EC) search committee, led by Justice Obaidul Hassan, has shortlisted 20 candidates after scrutinising more than 300 names proposed for the posts of new chief election commissioner and other election commissioners.
The list will be trimmed further to 10 individuals within Thursday this week for the president to appoint the next five-member EC.
For this, the search panel will hold some more meetings, Cabinet Division Secretary (coordination and reforms) Shamsul Arefin, who has been providing the EC panel with office assistance, told journalists Saturday.
After a pause of two days, the committee sat at the Supreme Court Judges' Lounge on Saturday morning.
An official who was present at the meeting told The Business Standard that the committee started the day's discussion with less than 50 names on the table.
The meeting was chaired by Appellate Division Judge Justice Obaidul Hassan. Members of the committee High Court Judge Justice SM Quddus Zaman, former election commissioner Muhammad Sohul Hussain, Prof Anwara Syed Haque, Comptroller and Auditor General Muslim Chowdhury, and Public Service Commission Chairman Sohrab Hossain were present.
After a two-hour discussion, Secretary Shamsul Arefin briefed the journalists about the developments and said the committee is scheduled to meet again on Sunday [today] afternoon.
The search panel formed by the president held five rounds of meetings, and had three meetings with eminent citizens. The committee also published more than 300 names of the potential candidates proposed by political parties and eminent citizens.
The proposed candidates included professors, judges, former secretaries and former military officers. However, there is no legal obligation that the search panel will have to finalise the list from there as the committee may also finalise the list at its own discretion.
According to EC law, the search committee will carry out its responsibilities with transparency and impartiality. They will propose to the President the names of two candidates for the post of chief election commissioner and eight candidates for the four posts of election commissioner, taking into account the qualifications, disqualifications, experience, skills and reputation required by law.