EVM to be used from NCC polls
The Election Commission is moving ahead with its plan to introduce the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the upcoming elections, including the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) polls, despite the opposition BNP's objection.
“We're moving ahead with the EVM project,” Election Commissioner Muhammad Sakhawat Hussain told reporters at EC Secretariat office in the city yesterday.
He said the EVM would be used in all centres of the nine wards during NCC polls.
About BNP's opposition to the EVM system that it's a weapon to manipulate vote, he said there is no similarity with the system that was recently shown by them (BNP).
Sakhawat said: “The EVM system we're applying and going to apply is not used in Germany and the United States. And it won't have connection with the central server.”
“Every electronic machine will remain separated and nobody will be able to change the software of all the machines at a time,” he said, adding that technical experts from all political parties will be allowed to check the machines while uploading software in the machines.
Sakhawat mentioned that the programmes of introducing electronic machines and ID cards in the elections were actually taken by the previous Election Commission, headed by Mohammad Abu Syed in 2003. “And we started that in 2009 to infuse dynamism into the commission's works. The CEC (Syed) had also brought two EVMs from India at that time.”
About the BNP's stance, the election commissioner said BNP should have come up with specific problems about the EVM through discussions with the commission or sent a proposal to it about loopholes of the system.
“BNP, as a political party, has given its opinions to the media about the system and it would be better if they come to us and pinpoint the problems after really seeing the Electronic Voting Machine,” he said.
Sakhawat, however, admitted that any technological system may have some weak points in use or it could be misused. “In many advanced countries, money has been withdrawn through computer hacking. Question is what system has no loopholes.”
Terming the NCC polls as non-partisan ones, the election commissioner urged all political parties to extend their cooperation with the commission without extending open support to the candidates.
“As the Narayanganj City Corporation polls are non-partisan by laws so let the elections be held in a non-partisan manner.”
Asked whether army to be deployed in the NCC polls, he said the commission would take decision later considering all the necessary aspects whether the army will be deployed during the polls.