Key panel boycotts BGMEA polls | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 21, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 21, 2011

Key panel boycotts BGMEA polls

Amid boycott by a key panel, Sammilito Parishad led by Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin won all the 27 posts in the biennial election of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) held simultaneously in Dhaka and Chittagong yesterday.
The directors of the winning panel will select the president and four vice-presidents tomorrow for the BGMEA for 2011 and 2012, said Chief Election Commissioner Shafiullah Chowdhury. Among the vice-presidents, one will be picked from Chittagong region and others from Dhaka region.
The rival panel, Forum, led by former BGMEA president Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, boycotted the election alleging a “faulty” voter list. His panel bagged a number of votes, the chief election commissioner said.
"I will go to the appeal board soon to challenge the legality of the election, which was held with a faulty voter list," Parvez told The Daily Star after the election.
Individually, Mohiuddin bagged 1,590 votes: 1,289 in Dhaka and 301 in Chittagong, while Parvez won 180 votes: 165 in Dhaka and 15 in Chittagong.
Mohiuddin, managing director of Onus Apparels and a vice-president of the garment sector's association, said the election was held in a democratic manner. “The voters came and cast their votes spontaneously," he claimed.
“If anybody wants to boycott the election, he should submit an application to the election board officially. My rival candidate did not submit any application to the election commission,” he added
"I will try to uphold the growth of the ready-made garment industry if I am elected as president," he added.
In a news briefing after the election, Shafiullah said the election started in Dhaka and Chittagong at 8am and ended at 4pm without a break.
"Nobody submitted any application officially to the election commission to boycott the election until now. So, we held the election," the chief election commissioner said.
Any aggrieved candidate can go to the election appeal board if he has any valid demand after the announcement of the results, he added. "This is why the final official result of the election will be published on March 27.”
Shafiullah also said the appeal board will hear the pleas until March 27. A total of 231 fake voters were taken off the previous voter list while both candidates were present, he said.
The BGMEA election was scheduled to be held on February 24, but the date was deferred on complaints of fake voters on the list by both candidates, Shafiullah said.
A fresh date for the election was set for March 20 on the consensus of both, Shafiullah added. Of 3,028 voters 1,743 cast their votes in both Dhaka and Chittagong. In Dhaka, 1,420 voters cast their votes, out of 2,443. In Chittagong, 323 voters cast their votes out of 585.
According to the election commission, 57.56 percent of the total votes were cast. The voters elected 20 directors in Dhaka and seven in Chittagong.
Abdus Salam Murshedy, the outgoing BGMEA president, said nobody submitted any application to boycott the election officially. "So, we cannot say the election is boycotted. If any candidate wants to boycott the election he should submit the application within a scheduled time," he said.
Forum leader MA Salam said the amended voter list was published on Friday, so it was not possible for them to campaign within this short period.
“We requested the election commission to fix the election date at least a week after publishing the amended voter list. But the date was fixed just after two days of publishing the amended voter list,” Salam said, adding that they will go for legal action against the election procedure.
Sammilito Parishad election coordinator in Chittagong Amir Humayun Mahmud Chowdhury said the presence of almost 70 percent voters in Chittagong proves that the voters have spontaneously welcomed the election.

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