12:00 AM, September 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 03, 2018

EVM: Whose purpose will it serve?

The news that the Election Commission is moving ahead with a plan to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the next general election, despite opposition from most political parties and apprehensions among the general people, is deeply disturbing. The EC is reportedly fast-tracking the project and has already allocated Tk 3,821 crore for procuring 1.5 lakh EVMs and other equipment even before a decision has been reached.

This raises the question: whose purpose is the EC serving then? So far, the only ones backing this plan are parties associated with the ruling coalition. The EC has taken this decision only four months before the election—which is too little a time to implement a project like this.

I think this is a bad decision, and quite dubious too. It's also risky given that all this money will be wasted if those EVMs are not used finally. The EC must step away from this plan. It has no right to take such a whimsical decision. It has failed to conduct free and fair elections in the City Corporation polls this year, so its focus should be on conducting a credible election at the national level, not to experiment with electoral systems or do anything rash to make the election questionable.

Nur Jahan

Chittagong