EC may seek army support at EVM booths
The Election Commission is mulling a plan to deploy army at the polling booths equipped with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to “ensure technical support and security”.
“Election Commission is planning to deploy army at the centres equipped with EVMs for providing technical support and security alongside as a striking force,” EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed told reporters at the commission office in Agargaon area of Dhaka this afternoon.
The EC has undertaken a plan in this regard without holding any elaborate discussion over the issue, Helal said adding that the issue is now under consideration.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Thursday said electronic voting machines would be used at several polling stations in constituencies in city areas. "Through exhibitions, voters were informed about the merits of using EVM in elections," he said while announcing the schedule for the 11th parliamentary election.
According to the schedule, the election will be held on December 23. The last date for filing nomination papers for candidacy is November 19. The returning officers will scrutinise the nomination papers on November 22 while the last date for withdrawing candidacy is November 29.
The debate over EVM use
The Election Commission is going to introduce EVM on a limited scale in the upcoming parliamentary election amid strong opposition from the newly formed political alliance Jatiya Oikyafront.
The opposition alliance is saying that using EVM will create a scope of rigging as the system can be manipulated.
Meanwhile, the ruling quarters are arguing in favour of EVM saying that it is a modern and flawless system.
President Abdul Hamid on October 30 promulgated the “Representation of the People Order (amendment) Ordinance, 2018”, paving the way for the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the upcoming national election.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council on September 18 cleared a Tk 3,825.34 crore project to procure 1.5 lakh EVMs.
What does he say about AL clash and Oikyafront rally
Responding to a query over Awami League factional clash that killed two youths centring nomination paper collection in Mohammadpur area of Dhaka today, Helal said the commission is still unaware of the incident.
About the Awami League leaders’ ongoing nomination collection processions, the EC secretary said, “Vote means festivity… Such festivities are taking place in a limited area. It does not seem to be a violation of the electoral code of conduct."
The election commissioner, responding to a query about Jatiya Oikyafront’s rally after the announcement of the election schedule, he said the political alliance held their rally based on advance permission from the authorities concerned.
The EC would take the matter into its account so that permission of holding such type of rally is not granted to any party or alliance, he said.
Yesterday, Oikyafront, an opposition combine of BNP and some other political parties, held a public rally in Rajshahi city to garner public support for their seven-point demand including dissolution of parliament before the polls.