Mahbub Talukder talked about elections earlier as well. The commission also tried to address every point he raised. But for the first time, Nurul Huda and Mahbub Talukder trade barbs sitting on the same dais. Other election commissioners and high officials were also present there that time.
In his written speech, marking the National Voters Day, Mahbub Talukder highlighted various irregularities in recent elections. Later the CEC answered to his statements.
He doesn’t work in the interests of the election commission of the country. Whatever is required to disgrace the commission, he did only that out of ill-motive and to carry out an agendaCEC KM Nurul Huda about Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder
Slamming Mahbub Talukder, Nurul Huda said, “Mahbub Talukder would read out from a piece of paper about the negative sides of the election commission habitually since the day after he joined the election commission. Today was neither different.”
“He doesn’t work in the interests of the election commission of the country. Whatever is required to disgrace the commission, he did only that out of ill-motives and to carry out an agenda,” the CEC said.
Nurul Huda further said he thought he (Mahbub Talukder) would talk about the Voters' Day. “But he gave a political speech. He has been continuing to work to humiliate the EC.”
Earlier, Mahbub Talukder said observing the local body elections, I could say that the balance and ‘level playing field’ required for a multi-party democracy is not being maintained. In unipolar election system, local body elections do not have that importance; rather securing nomination has become important these days. A model of irregularity, including clash, capturing polling centres and vandalising EVM (electronic voting machine), has been created even in the elections to local government bodies. Despite calling those incidents one-off incidents, a number of such on-off incidents or accidents create a chain that finally emerges as a part of the election.
Citing the example of voting in Rauzan municipality in Chattogram, the election commissioner said the most astonishing municipality election in Bangladesh was held in in Rauzan municipality of Chattogram. Mayor and all 12 councilors were elected uncontested. As a result, election-related officials and law enforcement members were withdrawn. In the same way, all the winners in Rauzan upazila parishad elections were won uncontested. But, probably it would be more appropriate to term this as ‘nomination’ instead of ‘election’. It would save a lot of money and help us get rid of violence and loss of lives if all of the people’s representatives across the country are elected in that model. Then, the election commission would not have much responsibility. In that situation, the question is whether the election commission would be required.
Mentioning that no free, fair and neutral election would be possible unless the electoral process is reformed, Mahbub Talukder said there are apprehensions that the electoral system would be nonoperational unless the electoral process is reformed. All the concerned parties should take positive steps in this regard realising the importance of the matter. If the electoral process is not reformed, even the present type of election will be further distorted.