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‘Use of EVM in national polls depends on parliament, Cabinet’s approval’

  • Published at 12:14 pm September 3rd, 2018
EVM_CEC
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda made the comments during the inauguration of a two-day training workshop on EVM use at the Election Training Institute (ETI) building in Agargaon in Dhaka on Monday Collected

The Chief Election Commissioner stated this during a two-day EVM-use training workshop on Monday

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda has said the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)s will depend upon the training and capability of Election Commission officials—as well as the consent of political parties participating in the 11th national election.

He made the comment during the inauguration of a two-day training workshop on how to use EVM at the Election Training Institute (ETI) building in Agargaon in Dhaka on Monday.

“If the Parliament passes the law to use EVMs, if the notion is accepted by the voters, and if our officers are trained to use EVMs to their full capacity, only then will we use EVMs,” Nurul Huda said.

The CEC said if the decision comes from the Law Ministry, or the cabinet meeting, then EVMs might be used in the polls.

“If the decision is made, then EVMs will be used in the national polls,” the CEC further said. “If we decide to use them in 25 constituencies out of the 300, the locations will be selected at random.”

He said it is normal for people to criticize the introduction of a new technology, and the questions that have been raised are relevant. 

“They will be concerned, as they do not yet know how to use EVMs properly,” he said. “It was a mistake when EVMs were used in 2010; but now, technology has advanced enough for us to explain the procedures in detail.”

Nurul Huda said technology is not confined to a box anymore—people carry phones in their hands through which information can easily be transmitted.

Different quarters have also criticized the cost that might be incurred if the Election Commission makes the decision to set up EVMs—just four months before the election. 

However, the CEC said the Finance Ministry will deal with the issue, as the Election Commission is not going to spend its own funds.

Since their introduction in 2010, EVMs have only been used in local government elections.

The commission has already announced that it plans to hold the next parliamentary election in the last week of December.

With the national election nearly four months away, the Election Commission has drawn up plans to use EVMs at polling centres in one-third of the country’s 300 constituencies. The move was immediately criticized by different quarters, including by political parties. 

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