After a 10-day break, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Thursday replied on allegations of irregularities brought against his five-member Commission by the 42 eminent citizens of the country.
Denying the allegations, Nurul Huda on Thursday said at a press conference at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city’s Agargaon that ‘allegations of 42 eminent citizens are false, baseless and motivated.’
Election Commissioners Rafiqul Islam, Kabita Khanam and Shahadat Hossain were present at the press conference, while Mahbub Talukder was absent.
Journalists were not given any scope to ask questions at the briefing.
On December 14, 42 eminent citizens of the country sent a letter to the President requesting him to constitute Supreme Judicial Council against the alleged irregularities and corruption of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs). In the letter, the citizens cited various financial irregularities, corruption and election-related serious offenses against the CEC and ECs.
About the letter, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday said BNP is now carrying out evil attempts to make the Election Commission controversial after failing in all sectors. “The people repeatedly boycotted the BNP for its negative politics. BNP boycotts people’s verdict on the voting day as part of its evil efforts. Now, BNP is trying to make the EC controversial by raising allegations of corruption and misconduct,” he said.
On Sunday, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said it was BNP that drafted the statement of 42 persons over the EC.
“We saw yesterday that 42 personalities of the country gave a statement about the Election Commission. I would like to say them with utmost respect that all those persons are known as pro-BNP. Some of them are advisors to the BNP chairperson,” said Hasan Mahmud.
At the briefing, CEC said, “We heard that 42 eminent citizens of the country recently brought allegations against the EC at a virtual briefing and asked president to constitute Supreme Judicial in this regard. It has created a deep confusion which is needed to be clarified.”
“There was no allocation of Tk 2 crore for 15 special speakers in training during the 11th parliamentary and upazila parisahd elections. So, the allegation of misappropriating Tk 2 crore is baseless and motivated.”
About recruitment of staff and purchase of electronic voting machine, Nurul Huda said no corruptions was held in staff recruiting process and purchase of EVMs.
Denying eminent citizens’ complaint on misconduct and irregularities during the elections the CEC said, “Foreign observers of different organizations had observed the 2018 parliamentary elections and made no complaints of irregularities. Election Commission took immediate actions in case of complaints in local polls.”
People have lost faith on holding elections is a baseless claim, said Nurul Huda adding that “All elections are holding with tumultuous competitions. About 60-80 percent votes are casting in those elections where 2-8 candidates vying a seat.”