The Election Commission (EC) announced election schedule on Thursday. With this announcement, the authority of the election-related administration has been entrusted to the EC. Today, the EC announced through a notification that the Deputy Commissioners will be the Returning Officers. However, according to the sources in the EC, the EC has decided to bring big changes in the field and top-level administration to prove its power and neutrality.
Sunday will be the first official working day of the EC. In the very first day, the EC wants to exercise its power. Sources in the EC said that there might be big changes in the administration to keep the field administration neutral. The EC may cancel the recent transfer of the DCs and Upazila Executive Officers and their places will be filled by new DCs. Moreover, the top-level administration- for example, the secretary of the public administration, cabinet secretary, two secretaries of the Ministry of Home Affairs- is likely to see changes, said sources in the administration. There can also be changes in the law enforcing agencies. Those police superintendents who have been transferred recently will be shifted to different places. A source in the EC said in the past three months, the EC has been planning to bring changes in the field and top-level administration. Those are loyal to a certain party have been listed and so, the EC may some changes here too.
However, an Election Commissioner, seeking anonymity, said, ‘We don’t want to spread panic in the administration regarding sudden changes. Whatever needs to be done, will be done gradually.’
EC secretary M Helal Uddin said, ‘With the announcement of the election schedule, the EC established authority over the administration. We’ll sit on Sunday about the administration. We’ll discuss how we can hold a free and fair election. The EC will bring changes in the administration for this.’
Sources in the EC said the cabinet secretary was appointed as contract-based official just a few days ago. And a contract-based official cannot work neutrally. Therefore, he might be replaced. Moreover, the EC will make decisions about those are known to be close to Awami League.
An official of the EC said that they believe the election will be participatory. They will try to create a neutral image of the administration so that all political parties can have faith in them and show that the EC is powerful.