New CEC vows to ensure free, fair polls

DHAKA - Just sworn in Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda today expressed his strong commitment to properly carry out his constitutional duty of holding free and fair elections.

"I am oath-bound to carry out the constitutional responsibilities," Huda told reporters at his first official press conference after the swearing in ceremony and joining his office as the CEC today.

He said the government or no party or quarter could influence him or the Election Commission as "it is a constitutional body".

He also expressed his firm commitment of working freely and taking stern action against wrongdoers.

The CEC, however, said that the first and the foremost challenges for the EC would be holding a free and fair poll involving all registered political parties.

Huda said that the EC would take necessary steps to hold the next national election with ensuring participation of not only the BNP, but all registered political parties.

The new CEC sought necessary cooperation from the government, political parties, civil society members and media to create a congenial atmosphere for holding free and fair polls.

He said the experience and expertise of the EC gathered in the past 45 years would also guide him to accomplish his duties in the future.

The CEC said the commission has three major tasks of EC including updating the voter lists, demarking electoral areas and holding free and fair elections and he himself and his team were committed to do the jobs accordingly.

The former bureaucrat denied all the allegations brought against him by some political leaders saying that he had never been involved with any political party or in partisan activities.

Earlier, the newly appointed five-member election commission (EC) led by Huda were sworn in at Supreme Court Judges' Lounge. The four election commissioners are Mahbub Talukder, Md Rafiqul Islam, Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury and Begum Kabita Khanam - the country's first ever female election commissioner.

Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha administered their oath of office at a ceremony, conducted by Supreme Court Registrar General Syed Aminul Islam.

President Abdul Hamid on February 6 formed the new EC with former secretary KM Nurul Huda as the new Chief Election Commissioner. The President appointed the five from the ten names referred by the search committee.

EC officials said the CEC and the election commissioners were expected to begin discharging their responsibility tomorrow after paying homage to the 1971 Liberation War martyrs at the National Memorial at Savar.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)