‘EC not only responsible for fair polls’: former CEC Huda

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Dhaka, October 24: Former chief election commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda on Tuesday said it is not only the responsibility of the Election Commission (EC) to hold a fair election.“It is not only the responsibility of the EC to hold a fair election, the political parties too have the responsibility here,” he said.

The former chief election commission came up with the observation during a dialogue with election commission held at Election Bhaban in Dhaka.

As part of its dialogue with different stakeholders, the election commission (EC) held talks with election experts, including former chief election commissioners and election commissioners.

He said the Election Commission alone would not be able to ensure a fair election, rather role of political parties are crucial to the end.

The former CEC, whose commission presided over the ninth parliamentary elections under a military-backed emergency government, hoped that the commission should not do anything which makes the parties lose trust in it.

Shamsul Huda told the dialogue that the election commission must strengthen itself.

“It should emphasise development of its human resources so that it can appoint Returning Officers from its own people during the general elections,” he noted.

Shah Nawaz, an election commissioner of immediate-past Rakibuddin-led commission which presided over 5 January 2014 controversial election, also asked the election commission to appoint as much as possible Returning Officers from its own people.

The dialogue was held at the commission secretariat in Agargaon in the capital with chief election commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda in the chair.

Some 16 election experts out of 26 invitees attended the dialogue.

The participants include former chief election commissioners justice Abdur Rouf and ATM Shamsul Huda, former election commissioners M Sakhawat Hossain, Sohul Hossain, Md Saiful Alam, Mohammad Abdul Mobarak, Mohammad Abu Hafiz, and Md Shah Nawaz, former EC secretary Humayun Kabir, former IGP Mohammad Hadis Uddin, former director general of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Md Rafiqul Islam, and former local government senior secretary Monzur Hossain.