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Do the EC nominees have what it takes?

  • Published at 06:33 pm February 7th, 2017
Do the EC nominees have what it takes?

For the Election Commission to maintain credibility, it must be seen as above and beyond any political bias.

All eyes are now on the newly nominated chief election commissioner, and four other commissioners, who are to be at the helm of the rather daunting task of overseeing a fair and free election in Bangladesh.

Can CEC KM Nurul Huda, and commissioners Mahbub Talker, Rafiqul Islam, Begum Kabita Khanam, and Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury live up to the expectations of neutrality, and the grit required to stand up to political pressures?

Time will tell, and these nominees should not be judged before they have had a chance to deliver.

But being a member of the EC is a tall order, since, in the past, the EC has been viewed with suspicion, and has often been accused of colluding with the party in power.

The selected men and women must be tough enough to withstand any sort of government pressure -- it will not be enough to be a decent, conscientious professional.

For the most part, the public is yet to be acquainted with the new EC members -- they must now earn the confidence of the people and earn a reputation for independence and integrity.

Bangladesh’s political culture, particularly when it comes to elections, has been rife with mistrust and accusations.

The EC must never give in to bullying, and must never abuse its power if it is to change this culture of partisanship.

Now that we know who the nominees are, their profile and their histories must be transparent -- the job entrusted to them is paramount to our democracy, and their actions as election commissioners must be scrutinised at every step.

Let us hope Bangladesh can turn over a new page, and hold an election beyond reproach.