Former Judge Shahabuddin Chuppu Set to Become Next Bangladesh President

Last Updated: February 12, 2023, 20:44 IST

(File photo: Shutterstock)

Awami League chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted Shahabuddin with a flower bouquet after the submission of his nomination

Mohammad Shahabuddin Chuppu, a former judge and freedom fighter, is set to become Bangladesh’s next president after the ruling Awami League, which holds an absolute majority in Parliament, nominated him for the top post.

Chuppu, 74, will replace President Mohammad Abdul Hamid, whose tenure ends on April 24.

”The Election Commission (EC) has received his (Chuppu’s) nomination paper submitted by Bangladesh Awami League,” a spokesman of the independent statutory body said.

He said the EC would now accomplish the procedural formalities for his election by Members of Parliament.

The Awami League has 305 seats in the 350-member House.

The tenure of Hamid, the longest-serving president of the country, will end on April 23, and according to the Constitution, he cannot hold a third term.

Senior Awami League leader and seven-time lawmaker Hamid was elected Bangladesh president in the last two elections. He was sworn in for his second term on April 24, 2018.

Awami League chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted Shahabuddin with a flower bouquet after the submission of his nomination.

EC officials and political analysts said Chuppu’s installation as the 22nd president of Bangladesh was now a matter of mere formalities as the official Opposition in Parliament Jatiya Party decided against nominating anyone for the highest office.

“Everything is Allah’s will,” Chuppu was quoted as saying by the Dhaka Tribune newspaper.

“There is no reaction now. This is Almighty Allah’s will,” he told reporters after submitting his nomination paper at the Election Commission.

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The main Opposition outside Parliament, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), cannot nominate anyone since all of its seven lawmakers resigned in December 2022 as part of their anti-government campaign ahead of general elections expected to be held in December this year.

Obaidul Quader, the General Secretary of the Awami League, meanwhile, told reporters that Awami League Parliamentary Party (ALPP) had entrusted Prime Minister Hasina with the task of nominating a candidate for the presidency and she nominated Chuppu.

After his retirement as a district and sessions judge, Chuppu served as one of the commissioners of the independent Anti-Corruption Commission. He later joined politics and become a member of the Awami League Advisory Council, which comprises senior party leaders and technocrats.

However, Chappu will have to relinquish the party post to become the titular head of the State.

Born in the northwestern Pabna district, Chuppu was a leader of Awami League’s student and youth wings in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Chappu also took part in the 1971 Liberation War and was imprisoned for waging a protest after the August 15, 1975 assassination of Bangladesh’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman — the father of Prime Minister Hasina — in a military coup along with most of his family members.

The coup also led to the toppling of the Awami League government. In 1982, he was inducted into the country’s judicial service.

Chuppu served as the coordinator of the Bangabandhu murder trial when Awami League returned to power in the 1996 elections.

Chuppu’s wife Rebeka Sultana is the former joint secretary to the government. The couple has one son.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)