Samyabadi Dal says yes, Janata League no
Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal (ML) yesterday supported introduction of electronic voting (e-voting) system in upcoming general election while Krishak Sramik Janata League opposed it saying the system is not enough to prevent vote rigging.
Leaders of the two parties expressed their opinions in seperate dialogues with Election Commission (EC) at its secretariat in the city as part of its ongoing dialogue with 38 registered political parties till July 14.
EC launched the dialogues on Tuesday for opinions on key issues like use of e-voting machine; Representation of the People Order; laws on demarcation of constituencies and appointment of election commissioners.
Both parties stressed on the need for establishing a free and powerful EC to conduct a neutral election.
Leading a 10-member delegation, Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal General Secretary Dilip Barua, also industries minister, said a neutral, independent and powerful EC could help overcome the recent political crisis over caretaker government system.
Following EC's proposal of fixing the number of constituencies in Dhaka City Corporation at 10, the delegation suggested specifying constituencies irrespective of number.
On appointment of chief election commissioner (CEC) and other commissioners, they recommended including academicians and media personnel in the committee proposed by EC to choose eligible figures.
Leading a 12-member delegation, Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddiquee said technology used in the newly proposed electronic voting system requires more development to prevent rigging.
Other recommendations include incorporating National Human Rights Commission chairman in the committee choosing eligible figures, appointing two women commissioners; bringing down candidate's deposit money from Tk 10,000 to 5,000; and transparency of EC-proposed “public fund” spending.
CEC Dr ATM Shamsul Huda and two commissioners M Sohul Hussain and M Sakhawat Hossain were present during the talks.
Shamsul said the government has no influence over EC to introduce the e-voting system, which is an EC initiative.
"We planed this two years ago. The prime minister started talking about the issue recently, making it seem political," he said.
Meanwhile, main opposition BNP firmly opposed introducing the e-voting system saying the government plans to use it to rig the next election.
While visiting the US and the UK, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said BNP would not participate in the election if the e-voting system is introduced.