Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam has said that the search committee would hold a meeting today to finalise the names for the appointment of election commissioners.
After a meeting of the committee at the Supreme Court's Judge Lounge on Tuesday, the cabinet secretary told reporters that the cabinet had edited the list of proposed names and shortened it.
"These names will be presented to the committee at a formal meeting starting today. This list will be shortened and finalised as soon as possible. If the committee thinks they need to search more names outside of this list, they will do so," he added.
Regarding whether or not the names made public were done with permission of the persons concerned, he said the committee would also discuss it today. Besides, the committee will consider the views of four prominent journalists who met with the commission yesterday.
Four senior journalists – Inam Ahmed, editor of The Business Standard, Naem Nizam, editor of Bangladesh Pratidin, Shykh Seraj, head of Channel i, and Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, journalist leader – met with the committee.
Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul said, "In the meeting, we said that a commissioner should be appointed from among women and minorities based on merit. In addition, it has been proposed to set up a balanced Election Commission with people of all professions and not to emphasise one profession.
He further said that it is necessary to know the background of those whose names have been mentioned to determine if there were ever involved with any financial scandal or have any special agenda to fulfil.
He further added that the names should not have been made public because there are so many people out there who do not even know their names were suggested. They may be happy to see the names on the list but they will be embarrassed if they are not selected. In addition, if the name is published in the future, the name of the proposer should not be mentioned.
Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naem Nizam said the names of people acceptable to all should be proposed to the president.
"The committee said it would prepare the final list of 10 candidates by 24 February. We have proposed that the names to be submitted to the president be made public. We also proposed that the permission of the people concerned should be taken in this case," he added.
Shahdeen Malik withdraws his name from list
Supreme Court Advocate Shahdeen Malik has officially withdrawn his name from the list of candidates proposed for appointment to the new Election Commission.
Announcing his withdrawal, the Supreme Court Lawyer wrote to the Cabinet Division, "It has come to my attention that my name has been included in a list of names under consideration for appointment to the Election Commission."
"I did not propose my name for this position, and am unsure why my name is on this list," he stated in an email, wishing not to be considered for any position in the EC.