PM Khaleda Zia appoints new poll panel secretary | india | Hindustan Times
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PM Khaleda Zia appoints new poll panel secretary

The move is aimed at ending controversy over the role of Election Commission's head and prepare for smooth parliamentary polls.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2006 12:38 IST

Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has given the Election Commission a new secretary to end the controversy over the role of the organisation's head and prepare for smooth parliamentary elections.

This appears to be her response, without being seen as tampering with the constitutional body, in the face of the opposition demand for the removal of the present Chief Election Commissioner, Justice MA Aziz.

Aziz has been reluctant to implement the Supreme Court's directive for door-to-door enumeration of voters, saying it was impracticable.

He has also been having a recurring spat with sections of the media, accusing them and "vested interests" of running a campaign against him.

Quoting "highly placed sources in the government", the Daily Star said: "Annoyed by the EC's stubborn attitude regarding updating of the voter list without visiting door to door, the government appointed Abdur Rashid Sarkar as secretary of the EC Secretariat."

Sarkar, earlier secretary in the food and disaster management ministry, will join the Election Commission secretariat next week in a bid to deflect some of the controversy.

The prime minister has assured full government cooperation to Sarkar in the task of preparing "a flawless voters list" when he called on her.

"I will suggest to the Election Commission that it reconsider its decision on not visiting door to door. I personally believe that visiting door to door is essential for updating the voter list...," Sarkar said after his meeting with Zia.

Sarkar met Zia before meeting Aziz and other election commissioners.

Law Minister Moudud Ahmed, citing problems in his own parliamentary constituency, has also been urging door-to-door enumeration and been critical of Aziz's stand.