As the chief election commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad steps down from office, he makes lofty claims of his commission being a success. He refuses to admit any failure whatsoever. Such a stance is ridiculous, laughable. It is shameful.
From the very outset the Rakib commission adopted a ‘hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil’ stand. They remained blind and deaf and mute till the very end, oblivious to the volley of criticism from all directions.
The Rakib commission’s tenure in office can be divided into two. They can be given due credit for the elections held prior to 5 January 2014. These elections were not overly controversial. But ever since the 10th national election, each and every election ended in violent clashes and vote rigging.
Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad claims that they were under no pressure in conducting the elections. If that is so, then the commission must bear the responsibility of all the farcical and preposterous elections that have taken place, of all the people killed in these polls. It is the responsibility of any election commission to conduct an election based on a transparent and accurate voters’ list so that the people can elect candidates of their choice.
For the sake of argument even if we accept that 153 candidates were elected uncontested in the 5 January election because there were no opposition candidates, the question remains as to why the people could not vote fearlessly and unhindered in the elections after that? The election commission can hardly be given any credit for the recently held Narayanganj city corporation polls. It is the candidates and the opposition that deserve credit.
Rakib and his crew brought this institution to the brink of destruction and they remain accountable to the nation for this predicament.