The proposed RPO (Amendment) Act 2018 was approved on Monday
Jamaat-e-Islami has expressed concerns over the cabinet’s final approval of three amendments to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 1972; allowing for the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the upcoming 11th national election.
The proposed Representation of the People’s (Amendment) Act 2018 was approved on Monday.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, Assistant Secretary General of Jamaat, Maulana Rafiqul Islam Khan said: “I am expressing my concerns over cabinet’s approval of the RPO amendments in favour of EVMs, ignoring the opinions of most opposition parties, civil society, and experts.
“I have no doubts that the government has ill intentions regarding the use of EVMs in the upcoming parliamentary election—disregarding the opinions of almost every quarter.”
Alleging that the government and the Election Commission are engaged in a conspiracy to ensure Awami League’s victory in the next election, the press release said: “The government and the commission have ulterior political motives for using the EVMs.
“They want to deceive the people and win the polls by any means necessary.”
Jamaat also complained that during the test phase, many EVMs suffered technical glitches, making it unfeasible to use them in the 11th general election.
Jamaat concluded the press release urging the authorities concerned to scrap the decision to use EVMs in the next parliamentary election, and warned that the public will reject the initiative if it is forced upon them.
Jamaat’s registration cancelled
On Monday, the Election Commission cancelled the registration of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party. The party had opposed Bangladesh’s independence during the Liberation War of 1971.
The commission issued a gazette notification, signed by the commission’s Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed, to this regard on Sunday.
According to the gazette, Jamaat’s registration was cancelled in line with the Sub Clause 4 of Article 90H of the RPO 1972, following a 2013 High Court order that declared the party’s registration illegal and cancelled.
The cancellation of the registration means Jamaat will not be able to take part in the upcoming 11th general election—which the commission plans to hold in the last week of December.
In the August 1, 2013 verdict, the High Court declared Jamaat’s registration with the Election Commission “illegal and void,” while observing that the registration was unlawfully done and the party’s charter contained elements contrary to the constitution and election rules of Bangladesh.