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BGMEA panel threatens legal action as board tenure extended

Swadhinata Parishad, the newly-floated panel during the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) election, has threatened to take legal action against the decision to extend the tenure of the current executive board by another year. Md Jahangir Alam, convener of the Swadhinata Parishad said the extension is not legal because it was done post the announcement of election schedule. “If necessary, we will go for legal remedy in the court so that the BGMEA is bound to hold election and not resort to illegal time extension or selection of any particular body for BGMEA executive body,” he said at a press conference held at the capital's La Vinci Hotel.

The election was scheduled to for March 7, but the commerce ministry quickly extended the tenure of the current board of the BGMEA by another year using three excuses, Alam said. The reasons for the extension were: Implementation of the new wage board for garment workers; demolition of the BGMEA building; and the general election.

The extension was not needed for those causes. The extension was also not made following rules. The current board members needed to call an extraordinary general meeting — which was also not done. BGMEA members get to elect the executive board for a two-year term. The tenure of the past two executive boards was extended by six months for extraordinary circumstances: The Rana Plaza collapse and the issue of demolition of the BGMEA headquarters in Dhaka.