Brigadier General Muhammad Sakhawat Hussain
Commissioner, Bangladesh Election Committee
Topics: Voter Education
Keywords: voter education, rural voter registration, recruitment, election management body, codes of conduct
Interviewer(s): Varanya Chaubey
Country of Reform: Bangladesh
Date: Tue Feb 17 2009
Brigadier General Muhammad Sakhawat Hussain discusses the role of the Bangladesh Election Commission and its initiatives for legal, administrative and political reform. He details the Commission’s efforts to promote political party accountability. He focuses on the specifics of achieving financial transparency and more democratization within parties. He discusses the challenges faced by the Commission—particularly the skeptical attitude held by most denizens—and the ways in which they attempted to deal with them. He explains initiatives taken on by the Commission, such as the creation of a comprehensive voter list that includes photographs. He also talks about the addition of a no-vote option, which allows voters to declare that they do not wish to vote for anyone on the ballot.
Contact Innovations for Successful Societies for a copy of the audio file.
At the time of this interview Brigadier General Muhammad Sakhawat Hussain was one of three commissioners who constituted the Bangladesh Election Commission. Prior to the commission, he served in various positions in the Bangladesh Army, including both staff and command as Brigadier General. He also served as director of Sonali Bank, Bangladesh’s largest commercial bank, for two years. After retiring, he established himself as an individual researcher, writing both columns and books. His focus has been on national security and defense.