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CEC: Magistrates are pledge-bound to act neutrally

  • Published at 02:24 pm November 25th, 2018
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Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda addresses 2nd day of a meeting with executive magistrates – at the Election Commission building, in the capital’s Agargaon area on November 25, 2018 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

KM Nurul Huda stated this on Sunday at the Election Commission

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda has told executive magistrates that they are pledge-bound to carry out their duties in a neutral and impartial manner.

He stated this on Sunday – on the 2nd day of a meeting with executive magistrates – at the Election Commission building, in the capital’s Agargaon area.

The commission had scheduled a three-day meeting with magistrates to brief them on the electoral code of conduct.

“You [magistrates] must discharge your duties according to the law, and your responsibility is to treat candidates of all political parties equally. Do not give more importance to some and less importance to others,” KM Nurul Huda told the executive magistrates.

He also instructed the magistrates to ensure presiding officers’ safety during the upcoming 11th general election.

“Presiding officers face a lot of pressure, and have a lot of responsibilities in their assigned centres. You [magistrates] have the responsibility to assist them. When these officers ask for assistance, magistrates should cooperate fully,” the CEC said at the meeting.

At the meeting, Mahbub Talukdar ordered executive magistrates to take strict action against those who violate the code of conduct.

Present at the meeting, Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar ordered executive magistrates to take strict action against people violating the electoral code of conduct, and enforce the laws neutrally. 

He added: “The upcoming election must be held in accordance with laws and regulations, so we must make sure everyone abides by the law.

Telling magistrates that they are responsible for maintaining peace and order, Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam instructed them to perform their duties sincerely. 

Election Commissioner Kabita Khanam said: “The commission will always support executive magistrates in enforcing laws and regulations. Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the Bangladesh Army will wait for your [magistrates’] orders, and you will give them [law enforcement] instructions in due time.”

Addressing the meeting, Election Commissioner Brigadier General (retd) Shahadat Hussain Chowdhury told magistrates: “Your activity has to be neutral, to hold a free, fair, and legitimate parliamentary election. A fair election leaves no possibility for post-poll violence.

“The law enforcers will stand by for you orders.”

Meanwhile, Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said: “We are optimistic that this election will be: inclusive, free, fair, neutral and acceptable for everyone. 

We hope, you [magistrates] will do your duty on behalf of the commission in a neutral manner.

Executive magistrates from Barisal, Sylhet, and Chittagong were present at the meeting, which is scheduled to conclude on Monday.

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