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17 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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EC in a hurry to introduce EVMs in next nat’l polls: Shujan

The EC must consult the political parties before formulating a national charter for the polls, says the civic platform
STAFF REPORTER
EC in a hurry to introduce EVMs in next nat’l polls: Shujan

Members of Shushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), a civic platform, yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) is in an unseemly haste to introduce electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the upcoming national polls even without a general consensus among the political parties. They said though the political parties are still not sure about the use of EVMs, the EC is keen to decide on the matter by amending the Representation of People Order (RPO). The observation came at a meeting titled ‘RPO Amendment and Fair Elections’, organised by Shujan, at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital.

The speakers said a legal procedure must be followed for holding free and fair elections. The EC must consult the political parties before formulating a national charter for the polls, they added. Shujan president M Hafizuddin Khan, secretary Badiul Alam Majumder, central executive member Ali Imam Majumder, executive member Syeda Rizwana Hasan, national committee member Prof. CR Abrar, barrister Jyotirmoy Barua and advocate Subrata Chowdhury, among others, spoke on the occasion.

Shujan central coordinator Dilip Kumer Sakar read out a written keynote paper at the event. “The election laws, including RPO, should be amended to hold free and fair elections. And it should be done in consultation with the political parties,” said M Hafizuddin Khan.

“The EC is busy introducing EVMs in the elections. But many countries have shunned EVMs,” he said

“The commission should refrain from large-scale EVM use.  The technical aspects of EVMs need more clarification and the political parties must agree on the matter,” he added.

“Our state institutions are becoming weaker. No fair polls can be held under a political government. People must raise voices in this regard,” he added.

"Fair polls depend on proper election laws and how they are put into practice. The EC has recently sent a proposal to the law ministry to amend RPO to introduce EVMs in the next elections. But it didn't bother to inform the matter to the political parties and other stakeholders,” said Badiul Alam Majumder.

“The government must guarantee that people will be able to exercise their franchise. This is necessary to ensure a fair election. The ruling system should be reformed to ensure balance of power. There must be civil and political rights in a civilised society,” Syeda Rizwana Hasan said.

She also said the voting process has been plagued by rigging. " It's not possible to hold a fair election under a political government," she added.

“Our democracy has not been consolidated even 47 years after the liberation. The election process has not been fair. Everyone's voting rights should be ensured,” said CR Abrar.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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