Every election is a challenge for the Election Commission (EC), said Kazi Habibul Awal on Sunday immediately after taking oath as the chief election commissioner (CEC), and invited the cooperation of all in holding fair polls.
"Fair elections do not depend on election commissioners alone. We will need the cooperation of everyone. We will deploy our best efforts," he told journalists.
"Our main objective is to hold inclusive elections," the new CEC, who will head the commission during the 12th parliamentary polls late next year, reiterated his staunch commitment.
"I am hopeful that we will be able to hold the general elections with the participation of all political parties," he said, with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the archrival of the ruling Awami League, keeping itself away from the new EC formation process.
The party has repeatedly said that the EC cannot hold a free and fair election as long as the Awami League remains in power.
Kazi Habibul said that they will hold a formal press conference on Monday following a discussion with all the commissioners.
At Sunday's press conference, Kazi Habibul Awal was accompanied by four other election commissioners. Earlier, they were sworn in by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique at the Judges' Launch of the Supreme Court.
Shortly after 4:30pm, former senior secretary Kazi Habibul Awal took the oath of the CEC. Other election commissioners followed him to be sworn in one after another.
Former district and sessions judge Rashida Sultana, Brigadier General (retd) Ahsan Habib Khan, former senior secretaries Md Alamgir, and Anisur Rahman are the other commissioners.
This is the first EC to be formed under a law, enacted hurriedly earlier this year.
In line with the law, the president on 5 February formed a search committee, headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan, an Appellate Division judge.
Out of the 10 names proposed by the search committee, the president appointed the CEC and four other election commissioners on Saturday.
The tenure of the previous Election Commission headed by KM Nurul Huda expired on 14 February.