Home / Bangladesh / CEC asks DCs, SPs not to behave as party workers

CEC asks DCs, SPs not to behave as party workers

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal on Sunday said District Commissioners (DCs) and Superintendents of Police (SPs) should perform their duties as government employees, not as party workers during elections.

“This time the Election Commission (EC) will remain in a strong position . . . DC, SPs should work as government employees, not as party workers,” the CEC told journalists after exchanging views with DCs and SPs of all districts ahead of the Zila Parishad and other elections.

Home ministry’s public security division senior secretary Akhtar Hossain and additional IGP Atiqul Islam took part in the view-exchange meeting. After the meeting, CEC Kazi Habibul Awal and public security Division Senior Secretary Akhtar Hossain briefed the journalists.

CEC Kazi Habibul Awal said, “We want free, fair and participatory elections. We gave them important instructions that they should work neutrally. We hope the elections will be participatory, if there is no competition, elections are not free and fair.”

“You should not behave in such a way that the general public may think you are biased, you are not party neutral. You must act impartially. You as a public servant should understand the difference between government and political party. Never think or consider yourself a party worker in action. Your behavior should not reflect such that people think you are working for any party,” said Awal.

He asked them to remain alert so that none is harassed with political motives.

DCs, SPs came up with some suggestions during the meeting, the CEC said, adding that a lot of ‘voter education’ is needed about the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as many people are scared of using technology. For this reason, many DCs, SPs suggested carrying out a massive campaign about EVMs, he added.

In order to deploy additional number of law and order forces at a polling centre, the DCs, SPs suggested reducing the number of polling centres and increasing the number of booths. The CEC said the EC will review this suggestion.

Mentioning the political division during the parliamentary elections, he said the EC expects that the political leadership will resolve the political issues with their goodwill and wisdom as it is not the EC’s job.

“The EC cannot interfere in political matters. Political problems must be solved by politicians,” he added.

Responding to a question, Awal said the district and police administrations try to work impartially. Parliamentary systems are such that it is sometimes difficult to separate government and party, he said, adding that the EC will be in a strong position this time. The public servants must perform their duties in accordance with the code of conduct, he said.

In response to another question, the CEC said, “During the elections, the Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Home Affairs and the forces will remain under the election commission, if necessary, the army may be deployed.”

“Those who will remain involved in election activities will be under the EC. They will be obliged to follow any directives of EC,” said the CEC.