‘Attempts to influence EC will be sternly rejected’

Reiterating the impartiality of the new Election Commission, the newly appointed CEC on Wednesday warned all political parties that it would reject any attempts to influence the election body.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda said: “We will not give in to any demands that will be made to influence the commission. We will strictly maintain our activities by the constitution.”

Nurul Huda said the execution of a free and fair national election would be the key challenge of the newly formed Election Commission.

“We have only one challenge, which is arranging a free and fair election. However, we have not formulated any plans yet on how it should be held. We will chalk out a plan soon through discussion among the election commissioners.”

When asked about government influence, he said: “I will strictly deal with those government officials, if any, who will try to exercise influence over the commission.

“As the new commission was formed constitutionally, the government has no chance to exert its power over the election body.”

The 12th CEC made the statement on Wednesday during his first press briefing on the first day at the Election Commission Secretariat in Dhaka’s Agargaon. The four election commissioners – Mahbub Talukder, Md Rafiqul Islam, Begum Kabita Khanam and Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury – were also present at the briefing.

In his address, Nurul Huda further said: “We are confident that faith of all political parties in the commission would be restored.”

The commission will act uncompromisingly and steadily to perform its constitutional duties and to work in that way, it would take help from the experiences of the previous 11 commissions from July 7, 1972 to February 8, 2017.

Meanwhile, Nurul Huda strongly denied any kinds of involvement with any political parties currently.

He said: “I have no relation with any political parties. From now on, as I have taken oath, I will perform my duty impartially. I was never part of any political parties or the Janatar Mancha. That is a rumour and a complete lie.”

Earlier in the day, the new Election Commission was sworn in.

Chief Justice SK Sinha administered the oath taking ceremony at the Supreme Court Judges’ Lounge around 3pm.

Judges of the Supreme Court Appellate Division, among others, were present at the programme.

With this appointment, Bangladesh now has its first female election commissioner in Kabita Khanom, a historical moment in the Election Commission’s 45 years.

All of the 11 chief election commissioners and 23 election commissioners who have served in the Election Commission since 1972 have been male.

source: Dhakatribune