BGMEA election amid festivity

Dhaka, Mar 10: The biennial election of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the apex body of the country’s apparel sector, was held peacefully on Sunday.
Voters exercised their franchise almost in a festive mood from 8 am and continued until 5 pm to elect the directors of the apex body for the next two years (2013-14). The voting started at the BGMEA Bhabans in Dhaka and Chittagong simultaneously. Of the total 3,196 voters, some 2812 cast their votes to elect 27 directors of the executive committee – 20 from the Dhaka zone and seven from the Chittagong zone. The turnout was about 88 per cent.
Both election board and leaders of contesting panels — Sammilito Parishad and Forum — expressed their satisfaction over peaceful holding of the election. “The election was held free, fair and peacefully with total perfection,” said Jahangir Alamin, Chairman of the election Board, adding that everyone cast their votes spontaneously.
Out of total 2592 voters in Dhaka, some 2258 cast their votes. The turnout is 87 per cent. Out of 604 voters in Chittagong 554 cast their votes representing 91 per cent turnout.
According to the guideline, the elected directors will select one president and four vice-presidents to run the association for two years. Among the vice-presidents, one is elected from Chittagong region and others from Dhaka region.
Two panels – one led by Atiqul Islam of Shammilio Parishad and another led by Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu of forum – are contesting the election of BGMEA, the apex trade body of ready-made garments sector, which is a major foreign currency earner.
A former vice president Atiqul Islam is leading the Sammilito Parishad, while Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu is spearheading the Forum’s efforts to win the BGMEA election. He is supported by incumbent president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, former presidents Salam Murshedy, Tipu Munshi, Mustafa Golam Kuddus, Kutubuddin Ahmed and Kazi Muniruzzaman.
On the other hand former presidents of BGMEA Anisur Rahman Sinha, Annisul Huq and Anwarul Alam Chowdhury Parvez choose Babu, Managing Ddirector of Rising Group to lead the Forum Panel.
Under the two panels, some 54 candidates (40 from Dhaka zone and 14 from the Chittagong zone) are contesting against 27 posts of
directors of the executive committee — 20 from the Dhaka zone and seven from the Chittagong zone.
Members of the association, many of them holding high offices of the government, former presidents and aspirants cast their votes in jubilant mode. Among them Civil Aviation Minister Faruk Khan, FBCCI former presidents Slaman F Rahman, AK Azad, Annisul Huq and film star Alamgir cast their votes in the first half. Former BGMEA presidents who supported the panel leaders stayed most of the time at election premises surrounded by enthusiastic followers.
Terming the turnout adequate and expressing his satisfaction over holding the elections peacefully the outgoing BGMEA president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin thanked all for extending cooperation to strengthen the BGMEA as well as help him solving major problems hindering development of the industry. “Everyone cooperates to hold the election in a fair and peaceful manner which could be an example for other elections of Bangladesh,” he said.
Both panel leaders — Atiqul Islam and Mahmud Hasan Khan (Babu) — expressed their satisfaction over the election and vowed to work together to overcome the hunrdles hindering development of the industry.
“Whoever will win the election, we will co-operate each others for the betterment of the country’s apparel sector,” said both the leaders and promised to help reduce banks lending rates and steps to protect
Former BGMEA Salam Murshedy, who actively supports Sammilito Parishad also expressed his optimism that both the panels would work unitedly to bring the industry to a new height. “At present there are two groups contesting the election. When the election is over, we all work together and unitedly to promote the country’s apparel sector through overcoming both the existing and the future challenges of the sector.”
General members of the association, however, opined that the new committee will have to face a lot of challenges to push forward the sector in coming days.

Source: The Independent