The ruling Awami League and its alliance partners have shown confidence in the newly appointed election commission but leaders of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies look critical about it.
The divisive opinions came on Monday night after president Md Abdul Hamid appointed a new five-member election commission from a list of 10 persons recommended by a search committee.
In an informal reaction, the party’s presidium member and health minister, Mohammed Nasim told media that the president formed the election commission through, what he called as, a ‘fair process’ and the ruling camp has full respect to it.
“I think the commission will be able to duly perform its duty. The commission will present us with a free, fair and neutral election,” he said.
The BNP leaders discussed the issue during the meeting and, the meeting sources said, the new election commission has not been a neutral one.
Former secretary KM Nurul Huda, a 1973 batch civil servant, was appointed as the new chief election commissioner. Former secretary Rafiqul Islam, former additional secretary Mahbub Talukder, former judge Begum Kabita Khanam and retired brigadier general Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury have been made election commissioners.
The BNP is learned to have certain negative impression about the president’s picks for the commission as, some leaders pointed out, some of them had controversial role the in past.
When Prothom Alo contacted some of the BNP and 20-party alliance leaders, they generally said they have no idea about the commissioners. They said they would give their reaction once the alliance partners meet and know details about them.
AL presidium member Abdur Razzak said none could make everyone pleased. He believes that every political party will accept the president’s picks for the election commission.
“This election commission has an important role to play. Everyone is looking forward to the 2019 election. I believe this commission can arrange a free, fair and neutral election,” he added.
AL joint general secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif said the election commissioners are competent. “It’s a good commission”
Hanif said an election commission is not enough for holding a free and fair election. Emphaisising the responsibility of the political parties, he expressed hope that they all will help the EC to hold a free, fair and neutral election.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Inu) president and information minister Hasanul Haq Inu said he has confidence in the election commission.
“During the election, the election commission keeps control over the administration. This commission will have that courage to apply that power,” Inu said.
Jatiya Party secretary general Ruhul Amin Howlader said, “So far we have come to know the election commissioners, including chief election commissioner, have been picked from the ones who are imbued with the spirit of liberation war.”
“I hope the commission will fulfil the expectation of the countrymen,” he said.
President of JASAD’s faction Sharif Nurul Ambia said their party has confidence on the commission formed by president.