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Crucial RPO (Amendment) Bill tabled in parliament

  • Published at 02:50 pm February 26th, 2019
Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were used in the Khulna city polls last month
File photo of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Provisions to introduce the use of EVMs and online nomination submission systems have been incorporated

The Representation of the People Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was placed in parliament on Tuesday for incorporating provisions to introduce the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and online nomination submission systems in the national election.

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Anisul Huq, placed the bill in the House which was sent to the relevant parliamentary committee for further scrutiny.

The committee was asked to submit its report within one day.

Earlier, on October 31, President Abdul Hamid promulgated the 'Representation of the People Order (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, to pave the way for the use of EVMs in the 11th national elections held on December 30 last.

Now, the bill was placed to get he necessary endorsement of the House.

As per the bill, the Election Commission will have the authority to introduce the EVM system, approve the EVM format and EVM software, and take safety measures for EVMs.

The bill proposed a number of safety measures for EVMs to allay people's fears over the security features of the electronic machines.

The commission may approve an EVM considering the safety measures mentioned in the proposed law.

As per the bill, the machine will not have any network or internet connection, computer control, and radio frequency.

The Election Commission will have to ensure that EVMs cannot be altered or tampered.

Besides, a provision was kept in the bill to introduce the online system for submission of nomination papers alongside the manual one.

According to the proposed law, a loan defaulter will have to pay off his loan before the day of submission of nomination papers to contest the elections.

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