Akramuddin panel wins FBCCI elections

Clean sweep for govt-backed panel

Standard Bank Ltd Chairman Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed-led panel recorded a landslide victory at the biennial election of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) early Sunday, grabbing 20 posts out of 30.

The government-backed panel claimed 11 posts out of 15 from the chamber group and nine posts out of 15 from the association group in the election of the country’s apex chamber to emerge as victorious for the term of 2012-14, Ali Ashraf, chairman of the election board, announced at 5:45am on Sunday.

The Ganatantrik Parishad panel, which had the active support of Annisul Huq, a former president of the FBCCI, failed to make any significant dent at the prospect of Akramuddin, despite a huge effort in the last few weeks.

Although the voting to the election ended at 5:20pm on Saturday, the board could only announce the final result on Sunday morning, due to age-old manual counting system.

It however announced the result for the chamber group last night.

The new board of directors will elect the new president, first vice president and vice president on Monday.

The turnout was very high as 91 percent voters cast their votes.

A total of 1,822 votes were cast in the apex trade body’s election for a two-year term under the association and chamber groups.

The election largely ended peacefully and amid festive mood, with a couple of untoward incidents.

In one occasion, a voter and supporter of Ganatantrik Parishad Panel, Amiruddin Ahmed Bipu, was allegedly beaten by a group of opponent supporters when he was trying to protect Annisul Huq, the former FBCCI president, from the attack of a group allegedly belonging to the opponent camp.

Md Aminul Hoque Shamim, a candidate of the Akramuddin-led panel, bagged the highest 262 votes from the chamber group.

In the same panel, Md Rezaul Karim Reznu bagged 249 votes, Mohammed Bazlur Rahman 240 votes, Monowara Hakim Ali 239 votes, Momtaz Uddin 213 votes, Prabir Kumar Saha 209 votes, AKM Shaheed Reza 208 votes, Abdul Wahed 203 votes, Jalaluddin Ahmed Yeamin 197 votes, Serajul Haque 188 votes and Bijoy Kumar Kejriwal 185 votes.

Ganatantrik Parishad Panel’s winners from the chamber group are: Anwar Sadat Sarker bagging 217 votes, Golam Mostafa Talukder with 212 votes, Md Kohinoor Islam with 210 votes and Tabarakul Tosaddek Hossain Khan Tito with 197 votes, the election board said.

Md Abdul Haque, a candidate of Ganatantrik Parishad, got the highest 852 votes from the chamber association.

Other winners of the panel are –Abu Alam Chowdhury (831

votes), Shafquat Haider (814 votes), Anwar Hossain (769 votes), Obaidur Rahman (744

votes) and Mohammad Jalal Uddin (744 votes).

The chamber group candidates who won under the banner of the government-backed panel are – Mir Nizam Uddin Ahmed (815 votes), Md Helal Uddin (795 votes), Abu Motaleb (749 votes), Abdur Razzaque (744 votes), Shafiqul Islam Vorosha (738 votes), M A Momen (737 votes), Harun ur Rashid (712 votes), KM Akhtaruzzaman (706 votes) and Shahedul Islam Helal (696 votes).

Ali Ashraf, also an Awami League lawmaker, said 1,439 votes were cast in the association group with a total of 1,611 voters, and 383 ballots were cast in the chamber group with a total of 390 voters.

The voting began at 9:26am at the federation building in Motijheel – 26 minutes after the schedule, as the presence of an influential ruling party leader, Salman F Rahman, along with some other business leaders supporting the government-backed panel, delayed the start.

Witnesses said they went there to demand the election board show that the ballot boxes are empty and allow to appoint nine agents instead of three.

The election board officials showed them the empty ballot boxes and allowed to appoint nine agents – an action provoked the opponent team to stage a protest, who said the election board is acting only in line with the demand of the government-supported party.

The voting however began after they left the premise of the polling station, set up at the eighth floor of the chamber.

Salman F Rahman, vice chairman of Beximco Group, however stayed until midnight and also accompanied the chairman of the election board when the latter announced the result.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Muhammad Faruk Khan also stayed there until late in the night.

However, there was no allegation of influencing the election result.

“Since we started the election late, we also closed it late. The election was held peacefully as no major untoward incident took place. I was not under pressure from any quarter during the election,” said Ashraf.

A total of 63 candidates contested for the posts of 30 directors — 15 each from chamber and association groups — under the banner of two panels.

The elected directors along with 18 nominated directors — nine each from chamber and association groups — would choose the president for a two-year term.

Akramuddin led his panel while former FBCCI president Annisul Huq supported the

Ganatantrik Parishad though he did not contest the election.

According to the FBCCI rules, this year’s FBCCI president will be chosen from the association group as the incumbent president was selected from the chamber group two years ago.

Casting his vote at 4:20pm on Saturday, Akram said, “The election is being held peacefully. Everyone is voting spontaneously.”

A jubilant Monowara Hakim Ali, who represented Chittagong Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the election, in her immediate reaction, said: “I am very, very happy to be elected. Now I will be able to complete the tasks that I could not do in my first term.”

Also the president of the chamber, Monowara, the only woman candidate contesting in the poll, said she came to know about the problems of different chambers in the country during her election campaign. “I not only know about their problems, but also their potential.”

“I will try to solve their problems and utilize their potentialities. I may not be able to solve all of their problems, but I would be happy if I could solve some of them,” she told The Daily Star, amid a flood of calls to her mobile phones from well-wishers greeting the entrepreneur from Chittagong.

In his immediate reaction, Prabir Kumar Saha, president of Narshingdi district chamber who has been elected as a director of the federation from the chamber group, said: “We will work together to execute our promises. We have to protect the best interests of the business community.”

Source: The Daily Star



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