The newly-formed Election Commission (EC) headed by Kazi Habibul Awal took oath on Sunday with a vow to take the challenge of holding the next general election in a free, fair and credible manner.
Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique administered the oath to new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Habibul Awal and four election commissioners Begum Rashida Sultana, Brigadier General (Retd) Ahsan Habib Khan and former senior secretaries Md Alamgir and Anisur Rahman at the Supreme Court Judges Lounge.
After the oath-taking ceremony, the new CEC told reporters that they will put in their best efforts to hold all the elections in a credible manner during their tenure.
“There is a challenge in every election. We should not get afraid of any challenge. We must face it,” he said.
The new CEC and his four deputies will join the office today and hold separate view-exchange meetings with the officials of the commission and journalists, sources at the EC said
President Abdul Hamid on Saturday formed the new EC with former senior secretary Habibul Awal as the CEC and former District and Sessions Judge Rashida Sultana, Brigadier General (Retd) Ahsan Habib and former senior secretaries Alamgir and Anisur as commissioners.
Habibul Awal was born in 1956. He is the son of late Kazi Abdul Awal, former deputy inspector general of prisons who filed the case over the killing of the four national leaders in jail in 1975.
Habibul Awal is the sixth bureaucrat to become the CEC. He joined the government job in 1981 and became judge in 1997.
He retired as senior secretary to the defence ministry in 2015 and got two subsequent contractual appointments.
During the army-backed caretaker government, Habibul Awal was appointed as the acting secretary to law ministry, but the High Court, following a writ petition, in 2008 declared his appointment illegal. The Supreme Court upheld the HC verdict the following year.
Born in 1961, Rashida, who is among the four commissioners, completed her secondary and higher secondary education in Sirajganj.
She did her graduation and post-graduation on law from Rajshahi University in 1982 and 1984 respectively.
Rashida, who joined the judiciary in 1985, retired as a district judge in 2020.
Another commissioner Ahsan Habib was the vice-chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) from August 2014 to August 2017.
He was also a director general (spectrum) of BTRC prior to becoming the vice-chairman of the regulatory body.
Ahsan Habib also served as a top official of a World Bank project at BTRC and retired from the army in 2013.
Alamgir, former senior secretary at the EC, is accompanying the CEC. He was retired from the EC one year ago.
He worked as secretary to the Technical and Madrasah Education Division.
Besides, he served as secretary to the education ministry and director general of the Directorate of Primary Education.
He was also the director general of the Bureau of Non-Formal Education and additional secretary at the Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry.
Born in 1962 in Shariatpur, Anisur obtained his honours and masters' degrees from Dhaka University’s geography and environment department.
Before his retirement as senior secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources Division, Anisur, who was a civil servant of the BCS 1985 batch, served in various capacities in the civil service.
He was also the secretary to the Religious Affairs Ministry.