Sunday 25, September 2022

JP against EVM innational polls

News Desk:Main opposition in parliament Jatiya Party yesterday said they did not want the use of electronic voting machines in the next national election.

Leaders of JP said this at a views-exchange programme on the EVMs with the Election Commission at the latter's office in the capital.

"We informed the commission that there is no need of using EVMs in elections," JP Secretary General Mujibul Haque Chunnu told after the programme.

"A public perception is that using EVMs in polls means there is a scope of manipulation and a special party can do something," he said at the event.

He added that if the EC holds the polls to all 300 constituencies via EVMs, it would create a "haphazard situation" as voters were not ready for that.

Sheikh Shahidul Islam, general secretary of another faction of Jatiya Party, said if the commission conducts polls through EVMs in some parliamentary seats and the rest with traditional ballot papers, it would be "discriminatory".

Bangladesh Nationalist Front President Abul Kalam Azad said the problem was "goons" forcibly pressing the EVM buttons for the voters, not the EVM itself.

At the programme, Shameem Haidar, acting secretary general of Zaker Party, proposed introduction of e-voting so that people can cast vote from home.

Atikul Islam, member of Bangladesh Muslim League standing committee, said many termed the EVM a trusted machine for election manipulation.

Bangladesh Congress Secretary General Eearul Islam proposed having paper slips in the EVM system so that a voter can understand which symbol he voted for.

Nationalist Democratic Movement Joint Secretary General Mominul Alam said the commission should introduce voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system with the EVM machine through which a voter would be able to get feedback after getting a printed slip.

The EC yesterday started its three phases of views-exchange programme with political parties to gain their trust over EVMs.

Three out of 13 parties invited for the programme did not attend.

The EC sources said Gono Forum, Krishak Sramik Janata League and Bangladesh Jatiya Party skipped the event.

Gono Forum is a major component of opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front that also includes the BNP. Krishak Sramik Janata League was also a member of the alliance, but it left the alliance in July 2019.

Bangladesh Jatiya Party is also a member BNP-led 20 party alliance.

At the beginning of yesterday's views-exchange programme, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal said the EC was yet to make the final decision regarding the use of EVMs in elections.

Talking to reporters after the event, he said some responded positively over the use of EVMs, while some said it would not be wise to use it in elections.


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