BGMEA POLLS: 2-panel syndicate against any possible candidate after post sharing comprise

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After reaching a consensus on selecting the next BGMEA leadership without any contest, two leading panels are now engaged in hectic negotiations for ensuring that no other panels or candidates vie for any post in the elections slated for September, sources in the apparel sector trade body said.
The two forums of the members of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association ­­­­–– Sammilita Parishad and Forum –– have already reached a consensus on sharing posts among themselves without elections but a good number of members of the trade body expressed their resentment towards the move.
This year a total of 35 directors will be elected from the Dhaka and Chittagong zones in the polls to be held on September 8.
Under the consensus, the leaders of the Sammilita Parishad will hold 19 directorship posts while Forum 16 posts.
The 35 directors will select president and seven vice-presidents of the trade body for the next two-year term.
As per the negotiation, Sammilita Parishad leader Siddiqur Rahman would hold the post of president. Parishad would also get four vice-president posts and Forum would get three vice-president posts.
BGMEA sources said the government had given green signal to the BGMEA leaders to form the board of directors of the trade body through selection.
‘Despite the negotiations over sharing posts among the leaders of Sammilita Parishad and Forum, some members may contest for the posts individually as they [the members] have raised questions over the accountability of the leaders who will be selected,’ a BGMEA director told New Age on Saturday.
He expressed the fear that if the democratic right of the members for choosing their leadership is gone, general members would be deprived of services.
He said that the two-panel syndicate was persuading many of the members who were interested to contest the elections so that they did not vie for the elections.
Abdus Salam Murshedy, a former BGMEA president, told New Age that all the past presidents of the trade body and the two platforms of its members had decided to select the next leadership of the trade body through a negotiation with the aim of putting the trade body on a strong footing.
‘We think it is the right time for selecting the next leadership of the BGMEA through compromise disregarding rivalry as the sector is passing through challenges like relocation and remediation,’ said Salam, who is a leader of Sammilita Parishad.
Salam, however, said that the members have rights to choose their leadership and it is true that the leaders who come though the members’ voting will be more accountable to the members and the association.
He also said that the two panels Sammilita Parishad and Forum decided to share posts without elections, but it was not final that the contest would not be held.
‘If any third panel or individual members appear, obviously there will be contest,’ Salam said.
He said that if any panel or members want to contest, the committee of the former presidents for selecting BGMEA leadership would not try to stop them as everyone has right to contest the elections.
Khondoker Zamil Uddin, a member of the BGMEA, said former leaders of the trade body made a compromise over the elections citing the present challenges for the readymade garment sector but a good numbers of the members did not agree with the process.
He said some members expressed their willingness to contest the elections individually and at the same time they expressed their
worry that if they become defeated in the polls, they would fall in trouble.
The BGMEA election board chairman, Jahangir Alamin, on June 10 announced September 8 as the election date for electing directors of the BGMEA for the next two years.
The board has already published the final list of 2,161 voters of the association.
According to the election schedule, the nomination paper will have to be submitted by August 3.
Source: New Age

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