BNP demands Dhaka city polls without electronic voting machines (EVMs)
12:00 AM, January 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:32 AM, January 22, 2020

No EVM in city polls

BNP demands in a letter to CEC

The BNP yesterday demanded that the Election Commission cancel its decision to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the upcoming Dhaka city elections.

Instead, it wanted the traditional ballot papers are used in the polls.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir wrote to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda and other commissioners. 

Elections to Dhaka north and south city corporations are slated for February 1.

“I have handed a letter to the CEC during a meeting,” BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury told The Daily Star. 

He went to the EC to hold a meeting with the CEC to place the party’s demand for cancelling results of recently held Chattogram-8 by-polls and holding fresh elections. The party brought allegations of vote rigging by using EVMs.

The BNP is opposing the use of EVM in any election. The opposition became stronger after the Election Commission announced the schedule of Dhaka city corporation polls on December 22. 

BNP leaders on several occasions termed the EVM “a tool for robbing votes”.

In the letter, Fakhrul said ineffectiveness of EVM was proved during the Chattogram-8 by polls on January 13.   

Media reported that the EVM’s ballot unit was still insecure, he said, adding that people would not be able to exercise their voting rights until the EC ensured a transparent and fair voting system.

“The Election Commission still has a chance to prove that it can hold free and fair elections in the upcoming city polls. Taking ineffectiveness of the EVM into consideration, cancel the use of EVM in the polls and take a step to hold the elections with traditional ballot papers,” Fakhrul suggested.

Briefing reporters after the meeting with the CEC, Amir Khasru said they were worried that ruling Awami League men would take control of polling stations. 

“The country’s people will lose their rights to elect their representatives in parliament and local government bodies, if the Election Commission does not cancel their decision to use the EVM,” he added.

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