Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday sought intervention of President Abdul Hamid in removing chief election commissioner and other commissioners as the Election Commission kept drawing scandals one after another.
There is no alternative to revamping the Election Commission to stop the defamation of the state, a TIB press release read.
The Bangladesh chapter of the Berlin-based graft watchdog also demanded an Anti-Corruption Commission investigation into all the scams of the Election Commission.
TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said, “Events of mud-slinging among the CEC, the EC secretariat and election commissioners, published in almost all the media outlets of the country, are embarrassing for the whole nation.”
At least one commissioner had recommended to the EC secretariat for a candidate of guard post. As his recommendation was not kept, the commissioners created a brawl, he added.
“The election commissioners are not in a position to understand that interference in appointment process sitting on a constitutional position is a moral turpitude”, he said.
Iftekharuzzaman said that unfortunate conflict between the commissioner and the EC secretariat have trampled the image of the Election Commission.
When a person sitting on a constitutional position raise allegation of irregularities in his secretariat it has significance, he said, adding, “General people of the country are stunned.”
According to the TIB boss, the EC has not carried out any investigation into the allegations brought against last election held in December 2018.
The commission remained silent after allegations of public money embezzlement in the name of election training surfaced. The allegations involved names of the EC high-ups along with the CEC and other election commissioners.
Some of the EC officials were also found involved in the process of making illegal Bangladeshi National Identity (NID) cards for the forcibly displaced Myanmar citizens.
Iftekharuzzaman said, “It is clear to us that CEC and commissioners will not leave taking responsibilities of their failure and moral turpitude. They have demeaned their oath and the constitution and created scope of dishonouring the president as appointer.
“So we are urging the president to take steps for removal of these controversial persons besides revamping the commission.”
TIB made the statement when a rift between the Election Commission Secretariat and the four election commissioners has widened further on Wednesday, centering alleged irregularities in appointment of employees and the commissioners’ jurisdiction over the EC secretariat’s operations.
At a meeting with CEC KM Nurul Huda on Wednesday, the commissioners alleged that the secretariat officials are trying to stir up arguments with them over the secretariat’s operations and “irregularities” in the recent appointment of 340 EC staffers.