Finance minister rebuked for saying the Election Commission may hold the upcoming national polls on December 27
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has said that it was only his “guess” that the Election Commission is planning to hold the 11th national polls on December 27.
On Wednesday, Muhith told reporters: “The Election Commission will decide the date of the vote, but I have heard that according to their plan the national election may be held on December 27.
“The election-time government will also be formed within the next 20 days.”
Those predictions drew different reactions from his ruling Awami League party and the main opposition BNP - and a stern rebuke on Thursday from Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda.
“We have had no contact with him and did not tell him anything either,” the CEC told a press briefing at the Radisson hotel in Dhaka Thursday.
“He should not have made the remarks this way. He has made a mistake, I’m saying that in front of the media. This is not his job. He was wrong to make such remarks.”
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The finance minister, however, stressed on Thursday that all he did was guess.
“Because the polls-time government has to be formed three months before the election, many are saying that the government will be formed at September end or early October (so) that’s why I guessed that this may happen within the next 20 days,” he said.
“But this matter is completely under the prime minister’s jurisdiction. She will make the final decision.
“I also guessed the election date. I think the polls may take place around that time. But this matter is under the Election Commission’s jurisdiction and only they will announce the date.”
The minister’s latest remarks were delivered to reporters after a program at the Finance Ministry in the Secretariat.
He also responded to queries about his own role though the election period.
“I will not contest in the polls, this is kind of final. But there is a possibility that I will be in the polls-time government. The prime minister will take the final decision on this, too.”
Muhith said his younger brother, AKM Abdul Momen, would contest his Sylhet Sadar constituency in the next polls.
“I trust and support him (but) Awami League’s election nomination board will make the final call. I hope they will choose him for that seat,” he said.