The panels of apparel exporters – the Sammilita Parishad and the Forum – have finalised the list of their candidates for the upcoming biennial election of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Each panel confirmed the list of their 35 members as 4 March (Thursday) was the last date of withdrawal of nominations.
According to sources in the election board, both panels have prioritised young candidates for the next election.
The Forum picked up a new female contestant Rana Laila Hafiz, director of Pubali Bank, while the Sammilita Parishad chose two BGMEA former presidents Abdus Salam Murshedy's daughter Shehrin Salam Oishee and AH Aslam Sunny's wife Neela Hosna Ara.
The Forum nominated 11 young business leaders. Of them, three are from Chattogram and eight from Dhaka including late mayor Anisul Huq's son Navidul Huq and former BGMEA president Chowdhury Anowarul Alam's son Shah Rayeed Chowdhury.
The Sammilita Parishad picked up 17 new faces for its panel including State Minister for the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid's brother Enthekhabul Hamid, BGMEA former president Kutubuddin Ahmed's son Tanvir Ahmed and also its former president Siddiqur Rahman's son Imranur Rahman.
BGMEA former vice-president ABM Samsuddin, also chairman of Hannan Group, will lead the Forum in the next election while Giant Group Managing Director and former vice-president of the apparel body Faruque Hassan has taken the helm of the Sammilita Parishad.
Sources said this year 99 candidates submitted 103 nomination papers. Of them, The Forum panel leader ABM Samsuddin submitted three nomination papers while BGMEA incumbent president Rubana Huq and the Sammilita Parishad panel leader Faruque Hassan each submitted two nomination papers.
The BGMEA's next biennial election is scheduled to be held on 4 April.
"We have already finalised the panel, which will be formally declared on 15 March," said General Secretary of the Forum Asif Ibrahim, also a candidate of the panel.
The Sammilita Parishad candidate Shahidullah Azim said: "We are going to organise an event on 6 March at a city hotel to introduce our full panel to voters."
He said besides experienced leaders, a good number of fresh candidates have come on the board.