'The incumbent commission is determined to hold the next national elections in a free and fair manner'
One of the four election commissioners has said that there is no conflict between them and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda.
“There might be difference of opinions with the CEC about many issues, but we do not have any conflict with him,” Mahbub Talukdar told reporters at the Election Commission office in Dhaka on Monday, while responding to questions over recent news reports.
“The incumbent commission is determined to hold the next national elections in a free and fair manner,” he said.
CEC Huda last week had said that large-scale polls without anomalies cannot be guaranteed, drawing criticisms from different quarters, including the ruling Awami League.
Several days later, the four other election commissioners said they did not share his view and called it his personal opinion. They also said that such commentsfrom the top election official would encourage irregularities.
Their comments, however, reportedly showed a distance between them and the CEC.
Mahbub on Monday said: “Many reports on conflicts in Election Commission have been published. Many people have said many things. Some reports also said that the CEC and I were at loggerheads.
“But I don’t think that is true. Difference of opinionmay arise regarding some issues. But that cannot be considered as conflict.”
He added: “The five election commissioners are working as one to ensure fair, participatory and acceptable parliamentary polls. We are aware of our duties.”
The incumbent Election Commission took office in February last year, and earned praise for organizing the Comilla and Rangpur city corporation polls.
But it faced severe criticism for the irregularities in the five latest city polls.
The BNP has alleged that there were anomalies on the election day in some of the cities, and have demanded a re-election.
Foreign observers have also expressed concerns over election irregularities.
Political analysts say anomalies in city polls, which took place only months before the national election, are causing the people to lose faith in the Election Commission.