Clean image, popularity and acceptability -- these are the key selection criteria the ruling Awami League has set for candidates in the December 30 national election.
Besides, good ties with people and grassroots units in respective constituencies, no graft allegations, ability to woo floating voters, and development projects in own areas are other factors that the party is considering.
With the electoral preparations of Jatiya Oikyafront and BNP-led alliance going on in full swing, the AL has embarked on a rigorous and cautious scrutiny of nomination seekers as the party thinks winning the polls would be tougher this time.
The AL parliamentary board, the body entrusted with finalising the nominations, has been holding meetings at the party chief's Dhanmondi office since Thursday. It also met at the Gono Bhaban yesterday.
Headed by AL President Sheikh Hasina, the board is also putting emphasis on picking young candidates since the youth are said to make up around 40 percent of voters, sources say.
It is considering the findings of six survey reports on candidates and party's position in every constituency, prepared by different government and private agencies.
The board already selected 11 candidates for three districts -- Panchagarh, Thakurgaon and Dinajpur --- of Rangpur division, the sources add.
Talking to this newspaper, AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said the aspirants with clean image, popularity and bonding with the grassroots will be the party's first priority.
AL presidium member Pijush Kumar Bhattacharjee said they were selecting party candidates based on different survey reports that contain information about potential candidates.
While talking to reporters at the Dhanmondi office yesterday, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said the party would finalise candidates within the next couple of days and the seat sharing with their allies within a week.
“We will not take any risk as we are not considering the opponents weak,” he said.
Hasina, during her address to AL hopefuls at the Gono Bhaban on Wednesday, too mentioned that the upcoming election will be a tough one for the ruling party and she would nominate candidates taking the survey reports into consideration.
The AL chief also said young leaders would be given the party tickets considering the number of young voters. Besides, those who can attract voters outside the party followers will be ahead in the race to secure AL nominations, sources say.