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Sheikh Hasina re-elected President, Obaidul Quader GS of Awami League

  • Special Correspondent
  • 24th December, 2022 05:30:29 PM
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Ruling Awami League on Saturday re-elected Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as its president for the 10th consecutive term to keep up the ongoing development pace and build ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041.

Obaidul Quader was also re-elected general secretary, the second highest post in AL hierarchy, for the third term in a row, at its 22nd triennial council session at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh in the capital.

Some 7,000 councillors from across the country elected the new leadership of the traditional party to face various challenges ahead of the 12th parliamentary elections slated for early January in 2024. 

Advocate Yusuf Hossain Humayun, chairman of the Election Commission formed to conduct the party polls, declared Sheikh Hasina as AL president and Obaidul Quader as general secretary as nobody contested the posts.

AL Advisory Council member Amir Hossain Amu proposed the name of Sheikh Hasina as president while Dinajpur district AL President Mostafizur Rahman Fizar supported the proposal.

AL leader and Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder proposed the name of Obaidul Quader while Dhaka district unit General Secretary Poniruzzaman Tarun supported it.

Earlier, Sheikh Hasina dissolved the central committee at the second session and came down from the podium.

Subsequently, the charge of the council session was taken by the Humayun-led three-member Election Commission, which conducted the polls. The two other members of the commission are PM’s Advisor Mashiur Rahman and AL Advisory Council member Mohammad Shahabuddin Chuppu.

Former student leader Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin was inducted into the Presidium in the new committee while Nurul Islam Nahid, Abdul Mannan Khan and Ramesh Chandra Sen were dropped from the highest policy-making body of the ruling party. They were made members of the Advisory Council.           Sheikh Hasina and Obaidul Quader are the ex-officio members of the Presidium while other members of the 19-strong Presidium are Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Kazi Zafarullah, Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Pijush Kanti Bhattacharya, Dr Abdur Razzak, Col (retd) Faruk Khan, Shajahan Khan, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Advocate Qamrul Islam and Simeen Hussain Rimi.

Three posts still remain vacant.

After her re-election, Sheikh Hasina announced almost the fully-fledged central committee.

Sujit Roy Nandi replaced Sakhawat Hossain Shafique as an organising secretary in lone change at that level. Nandi served the previous body as relief and social welfare secretary.

Aminul Islam Amin was given the charge of relief and social welfare secretary. He served the previous committee as deputy publicity and publication secretary.

No changes were made in the posts of joint secretaries as Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, Dr Dipu Moni, Dr Hasan Mahmud and AFM Bahauddin Nasim remained in their previous posts.

HN Ashiqur Rahman will serve as treasurer while Wasika Ayesha Khan as finance and planning secretary and Dr Shammi Ahmed as international affairs secretary.

All the organising secretaries of the previous committee -- Ahmed Hossain, BM Mozammel Haque, Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan, SM Kamal Hossain, Mirza Azam, Afzal Hossain and Shafiul Alam Chowdhury Nadel -- retained their posts in the new committee.

Barrister Biplab Barua will serve as the office secretary again while Advocate Nazibullah Heeru was made law secretary, Fardunnahar Laily agriculture and cooperatives secretary, Dr Selim Mahmud information and research secretary, Advocate Sirajul Mostafa religious affairs secretary, Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap publicity and publication secretary, Delwar Hossain forest and environment secretary, Engineer Abdus Sabur science and technology secretary, Jahanara Begum women affairs secretary, Advocate Mrinal Kanti Das liberation war affairs secretary, Shamsun Nahar Chanpa education and human resources secretary, Siddikur Rahman industry and commerce secretary, Ashim Kumar Ukil cultural affairs secretary and Rokeya Sultana health secretary.

Deputy office secretary Sayem Khan will serve his existing post while the posts of deputy publicity and publication secretary, labour and manpower, and youth and sports secretary remain vacant.

The executive members of the new body will be elected in a meeting of the Presidium.

After the announcement of the new committee, Sheikh Hasina thanked the party leaders and activists for re-electing her as the president.

She also urged them to work sincerely to strengthen the organisation further. “I’ve been leading the party for the last 41 years. So, you (the councillors) will have to consider my age (in future),” she said.

Long after the brutal assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina was elected as AL president on February 16, 1981 in her absence. She took the charge of the party after returning home on May 17 in that year.

Under her leadership, the party formed the government for four terms, including current third term in a row. The party first assumed office in 1996, some 21 years after the assassination of Bangabandhu.

Sheikh Hasina led the grand alliance to power through the December 29, 2008, January 5, 2014 and December 30, 2018 elections.

The AL president sought blessings from all in running the party as per councillors’ aspirations.