Expat life

If elected, Shahabuddin Mia, will be first Bangladeshi born German MP

Bangladeshi-descent German politician Shahabuddin Mia. Photo: Star

If elected, Shahabuddin Mia, will be the first Bangladeshi-descent member of German parliament.

He is running for a seat as a candidate for the Green Party, (an environmentalist political party), in the Bundestag or German Federal Parliamentary Elections on September 26.

Of Germany's 598 members of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag), 299 are elected by direct vote. The rest of the members are elected on the basis of participation as a percentage of the votes received by the party across the country.

In the election, a voter has to cast two votes. One directly to the member candidate of his seat and the other to any one political party of choice. Germany has 6.4 crore voters in its 16 states.

A total of 4,780 candidates from 53 political parties are contesting this election. Among them Sahabuddin Mia is contesting from the 146th constituency in the Swast district of Westphalia state.

Shahabuddin contested as the first ever candidate of Bangladeshi descent in the 2017 parliamentary elections.

He has been involved in Green Party politics for almost two decades. He joined the party in 2008 in the city of Verl. From 2012 to 2021, Shahabuddin served as the president of the Green Party in the city and at the same time an elected member of the city corporation.

He is currently a member of the Swast District Council.

"The Green Party is the only political party in Germany that has included to take steps to protect the climate in its constitution. That's why I was attracted to this party as an environmentalist myself," said Shahabuddin.

Shahabuddin Mia is quite optimistic about the party and his winning and that Green Party will form the government this time with 24-25 percent of the vote. According to him, this election will be an election to protect the climate.

"If necessary steps to protect the climate are not taken in the next 10 years, the world will reach its 'keep point'. Except our party, one other party mentioned of protecting the climate," he said.

"German agencies working on climate change are urging people to vote for climate change. They are very conscious of protecting the climate, they are showing signs of support," he added.

Shahabuddin has urged people of Bangladeshi decent living in Germany to vote for him and the party.

If elected, he said he would work on environmental disasters, immigration as well as to protect the interests of Bangladeshis.

Shahabuddin Mia was born in 1956 at Bajitpur village of Rajoir upazila of Madaripur. After completing his Honours from Titumir College, Dhaka, he migrated to Germany in 1989.

He completed his Master's in Electrical Engineering in 1983 from the University of Dortmund. He started working as an interpreter from 1987. He established his own interpreters and translators organisation in 1992. His company now employs about 500 freelancers for different languages ​​of the world.

Shahabuddin, a widower has two daughters and a son.

The writer is an expatriate journalist living in Germany.


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