Be visible, vibrant, CEC tells election officers in Bangladesh

DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - Unhappy CEC tells electoral enquiry bodies

Expressing dissatisfaction with the electoral enquiry committees, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda yesterday advised their members to be proactive for winning people's trust.

"We had formed 122 electoral enquiry committees on November 25. We had expectations that at least 122 complaints would be disposed of. But you did not even resolve 22 complaints,” he said. “It's because you haven't completed your preparation.”

Huda was addressing the inaugural session of a conference at the Election Commission Secretariat.

The comments came several days after the CEC had said there was no violation of electoral laws during the filing of nomination papers for the December 30 polls.

Election Commissioner Kabita Khanam addressed yesterday's programme ahead of Huda. In her speech, she called upon the members of the committees to be “visible”.

Referring to the call, the CEC said, "It means you have not made yourselves visible yet. It also means you are not aware of such a major duty given to you.

"When you become visible and vibrant, people will know you and consider you as their acquaintances. They will come to you and have more trust in you," he said.

He also said the EC was receiving hundreds of complaints. “It was not supposed to happen as you [members of the enquiry committees] are there.”

"We will send the complaints to you."

Huda reminded the committee members of their responsibilities, saying that government officials and employees have long been involved in the electoral process.

"People should not go here and there with their problems. You have to be proactive while carrying out your duties. You have to be vibrant," he said.

The 122 electoral enquiry committees, consisting of judicial officers, were formed to ensure prevention and control of pre-polls irregularities. Each committee has two members -- a joint district judge and an assistant district judge.

The committees, on the basis of allegations, would look into them and make recommendations to the EC for taking actions.

After the inaugural session, the EC held a closed-door meeting with the members of the electoral enquiry committees. The commission asked them not to do anything out of enthusiasm.

Talking to this correspondent, some members of the committees said they did not get any complaint and that they thought their “main duty” would commence after December 9.

"If we don't get any complaint, will we find out those by going through newspapers?” asked an additional magistrate from Sylhet division.

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