The upcoming Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) election took a dramatic twist after a new platform emerged to contest in the poll to ensure that leaders of the trade body are not selected arbitrarily. The platform, Swadhinata Parishad, unveiled its nine members at a press briefing in Dhaka. The garment sector's apex trade body was all set to get a new set of leaders through favouritism and not by ballot.
Shahidul Islam, Managing Director, Rupa Group and a former Vice-President of the BGMEA, was set to be formally announced on March 7 as the new president for the next two years. The convener of Swadhinata Parishad is Md Jahangir Alam, MD of Design and Source.
The other members are: Md Aminul Islam of Venix Bangladesh; Shahidur Rahman of Nova Apparels; Golam Mowla Chowdhury of Parents Sweater; Omar Faruk of Alliance Apparels; Ayesha Akhtar of Way Mart Apparels; Mahmud Hossain of DK Global Fashion; Ansarul Alam Lincon of Azra Enterprise; and Humayun Rashid Jony of Olira Fashion.
In a statement, the platform said the BGMEA has become an ineffective organisation as the leadership of the association has not been decided by ballot for a long time. “As a result, general members are being deprived of proper services and are facing harassment and negligence in some cases,” it noted. Swadhinata Parishad has decided participate in the election to choose leaders through direct member votes.