Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) today expressed deep concern over the allegation of pocketing of Tk 2 crore against the top brass of the Election Commission (EC) in the name of delivering ‘special speech’ at training programmes for the December 30 national election and the upazila polls.
“The high ups including constitutional posts and other officials of the Election Commission have pocketed a huge amount of money as special speaker of training programmes, advisers and directors of different courses as honorarium and allowances,” TIB said in a press statement.
Based on news report published in mass media, TIB expressed its deep concern and demanded immediate resignation of the officials for the sake of restoration of the dignity and reputation of the constitutional institution.
Daily Prothom Alo today published a news report under the headline: “CEC, commissioners, secretary pocket Tk 20m to speak”
The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), the four commissioners, the Election Commission (EC) secretary, an additional secretary and two joint secretaries, have pocketed over Tk 20 million (Tk 2 crore), allocated for delivering ‘special talks’ at training programmes for the 11th national parliamentary election and the upazila polls which followed, the newspaper reports.
TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman, in the press statement, said, “Such type of activities of the chief election commissioner and other commissioners and officials are totally immoral and unprecedented.”
“The allegation of pocketing the money by all most all top officials of a commission is a rear instance in the history of independent Bangladesh,” Iftekhar said in the statement.
“Also, it is on the one hand, enjoying such financial benefit in the name of involvement with the programmes is an extreme violation of law, abuse of power and clear corruption.”
On the other hand, enjoying such financial benefit in connivance with high officials is a wonderful instance which is not acceptable in any circumstance from an in-charge of a constitutional post,” he said.
Claiming that the allegation has made the entire election commission questionable, Iftekhar said the chief election commissioner and other commissioners should shoulder the responsibility and resign from their posts for restoration of the constitutional dignity of the institution.
The election commission has failed to fulfill people’s expectations in the recently held elections and amid such situation the crisis of trust in the commission has taken an acute turn, Iftekhar said.