Former judge Shahabuddin set to become new president of Bangladesh

Dhaka, Feb 12 (EFE).- Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League party on Sunday picked a retired judge and a member of the party’s advisory council, Mohammad Shahabuddin, as its candidate for the country’s upcoming presidential election.

Awami League general secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced Shahabuddin’s name and accompanied him to the election commission office along with other ministers and senior party leaders to submit his nomination paper in the afternoon.

Born in 1949 in the northwest Pabna district, Shahabuddin retired as a district judge in 2006 and served as commissioner of the country’s anti-graft body, the Anti-Corruption Commission, between 2011 and 2016.

With no other candidate emerging for the post on Sunday, the only day scheduled for submitting nomination papers, Shahabuddin is set to be elected as the next president of the country, replacing incumbent Md Abdul Hamid.

Bangladesh’s parliament is scheduled to elect the new president on Feb.19 but no election will be required if Shahabuddin’s nomination papers are found to be valid.

Incumbent President Hamid, who completes his second consecutive five-year term on Apr. 23, is not allowed to run for re-election as Bangladesh’s constitution bars a president from holding office for more than two terms.

Hamid became president on Apr. 22, 2013, and was re-elected in 2018.

A new president has to be elected between 60 to 90 days before the completion of the tenure of the incumbent president.

The nominee of the ruling Awami League was expected to be elected president since it enjoys an overwhelming majority in the parliament.

Bangladesh’s parliament has 300 seats for elected representatives and 50 seats reserved for women.

The Awami League and its allies secured 288 out of the 300 seats to win a third consecutive term in the last general elections in 2018 amid allegations of massive irregularities and ballot stuffing by the police overnight.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wields most of the power as head of the government, while the president’s post is largely ceremonial. EFE


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