DHAKA: Former Judge and anti-corruption commissioner Md Shahabuddin Chuppu is poised to become the 22nd President of Bangladesh with the ruling Awami League, which holds absolute majority in Parliament, nominating him for the top post.
A delegation of Awami League, led by the General Secretary Obaidul Quader, submitted Chupu's nomination papers at the Election Commission earlier in the day.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is also Bangladesh Awami League chief, has nominated Shahabuddin Chuppu for the post of chairman of the party's publicity and publication sub-committee in accordance with Article 25 (1) (a) of the party's constitution.
Of 350 parliamentary seats, the Awami League currently has 302, while the main opposition Jatiya Party has 26. The Workers Party has four seats; Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh and Gono Forum have two each; Bangladesh Tarikat Federation and Jatiya Party (Manju) have a single seat each; and three remaining seats are occupied by independents.
After the nomination was filed, Chupu said: "Everything was done with blessings of Almighty."
Nomination for the post of president will close at 4.00 p.m. on Sunday.
"Except Chupu, if no other nomination is filed till 4 p.m. on Sunday, we will announce him as the president elect if his nomination papers are found to be valid during scrutiny of forms tomorrow," EC officials told IANS.
Obaidul Quader had handed over the nomination letter to Shabuddin at Hasina's office in Dhanmondi on Friday afternoon.
Born in Pabna in 1949, Chuppu was member of Pabna district Chhatra League, Awami League's student wing.
He was the convenor of the Swadhin Bangla Chhatra Sangram Parishad in Pabna in 1971, and took part in the Liberation War movement. He became the president of the Pabna district Jubo League in 1974.
He was imprisoned for three years, after protesting the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975. He was later appointed as the Law Ministry's coordinator in the Bangabandhu assassination case.
In 1982, he joined the BCS (Judicial) Department, and in 1995, he was elected General Secretary of the Judicial Service Association. He served as the chairman of the Judicial Inquiry Commission, which investigated the brutal murders, rapes, thefts, and other crimes committed by BNP-Jamaat alliance's killers following the 2001 general election.
He also worked as a District and Sessions Judge and retired in 2006. He was a commissioner at the Anti-Corruption Commission from 2011 to 2016.
The presidential election is scheduled for February 19, but it will take place only if there is more than one candidate.
The tenure of the present President Abdul Hamid, the longest serving president of the country, will end on April 23, and according to the constitution, there is no scope for his re-election as Article 50 (2) of the constitution reads that no person shall hold office as president for more than two terms
Hamid was appointed acting president of Bangladesh on March 14, 2013, while then president Zillur Rahman was in hospital in Singapore. Zillur died six days later. Hamid was then elected unopposed as president on April 22, 2013, and was sworn in two days later. On February 7, 2018, he was re-elected unopposed for a second term.
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