Former election commissioner Mahbub Talukdar dies at 80

Talukdar, a member of the Nurul Huda-led Election Commission, was known for speaking out against the panel’s decisions. He claimed his recommendations were rarely followed and the election watchdog did not ensure a level playing field for all parties

Senior Correspondent
Published : 24 August 2022, 09:32 AM
Updated : 24 August 2022, 09:32 AM

Former election commissioner Mahbub Talukdar died at the age of 80, after a long battle with cancer and other diseases, his family said.

The former bureaucrat and poet died on Wednesday afternoon while undergoing treatment at United Hospital in Dhaka.

“His physical condition deteriorated in the morning. He suffered a massive cardiac arrest and died around 1 pm,” said his daughter Ireen Mahbub.

Talukdar left his wife and three children behind.

A funeral prayer session will be held at Azad Mosque in Gulshan.

Talukdar, a writer in Bengali Literature, wrote 44 books, mainly on poetry and fiction. He was awarded the Bangla Academy Prize in 2012.

In 2017, Talukdar was nominated by a search committee and eventually selected as a member of the Nurul Huda-led Election Commission, which oversaw the 2018 general election.

Talukdar was born in 1942. He studied at the University of Dhaka, obtaining a Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Bengali Language and Literature. He went on to teach the subject at the University of Chattogram.

He was also a freedom fighter during the Liberation War and joined the government in exile in 1971.

After independence, he became a speechwriter and public relations officer for the first four presidents of the country. He also served as assistant press secretary to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, according to the Election Commission website.

In 2017, Talukdar was nominated by a search committee and eventually selected as a member of the Nurul Huda-led Election Commission, which oversaw the 2018 general election.

He was an outspoken member of the panel and often publicly criticised the election watchdog for failing to ensure a level playing field for all parties. He said his recommendations, aimed at making elections fairer, were rarely accepted by the commission.

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