Saturday, November 25, 2017

Field officials replaced without notification, says Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar

  • Moinul Hoque Chowdhury, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2017-07-13 11:44:53 BdST

bdnews24
EC Mahbub Talukdar (File Photo)

Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar has expressed his shock that a team of the commission’s field officials was replaced without notification.

In a note to the EC secretary, Talukdar, who also chairs the commission’s committee on appointment, promotion, administrative reforms, reconstruction and efficiency, asked whether the replacement of the officials falls under his purview.

Ten top field-level EC officials were informed of their replacements on Sunday. A third of the officials at the country’s district election offices were also replaced.

“I was slightly shocked because I was not informed of the decision at any stage in the process,” said Talukdar in his note.

The election commissioner also asked whether the promotions and replacement of the officials should have been discussed at a committee meeting, whether the lack of notification made the committee obsolete and under what grounds the decision had been taken.

Talukdar also advised that all instructions, orders and other related documents be submitted to him promptly.

Following the note, EC Secretary Muhammad Abdullah and Additional Secretary Md Mokhlesur Rahman met Talukdar on Wednesday.

“There has been a misunderstanding,” EC Additional Secretary Rahman told bdnews24.com when asked about the matter.

“We met the commissioner and explained the situation. We hope there will be no further problems.”

A senior EC official told bdnews24.com that administrative changes in the EC secretariat do not fall under the purview of an election commissioner but that the matter could have been presented before the committee.

Former Election Commissioner Mohammad Chuhul Hossain said the situation could send the ‘wrong message’ ahead of the upcoming general election.

“As the committee is under an election commissioner, the matter should have been brought up there,” he told bdnews24.com. “The Election Commission is a single entity and must make decisions together.”

“There is no reprieve for mistakes here, otherwise the public will get the wrong message about the EC.”