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EVM is a farce when there is no certainty about free election

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27th-Aug-2018       
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News media reported that the Election Commission is planning to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the upcoming national election amidst the fear of uncertainty of fair voting. To make the use of EVM legalise, the EC is considering amendment of the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 1972. After a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda at the commission office on Sunday, Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam said, "The EC has begun discussions over RPO reform. We have also discussed the use of electronic voting machines." The Commission however has failed to decide what kind of changes to be made in the RPO, and they will meet again, on August 30.
The EC has already failed to prove its aptness, capacity, neutrality and strength in holding fair elections in the city polls. Vote rigging, ballot stamping, code violation, ruling party's out of rule involvement and arrest spree of opposition activists were a common feature.
The EC's latest move came after it initiated a move to procure 1.5 lakh EVM at an estimated cost of Tk 3,821 crore. The commission is holding the meeting just about a month before declaring the schedule for the next general elections. The EC is considering making provisions for the use of EVMs as the ruling Awami League wants the EVM system. But in the commission's electoral dialogue with the political parties in 2017, 35 of the 40 registered parties, including the main opposition BNP, urged commission not to use EVMs. BNP said the use of EVMs might ease election engineering by the government. Communist Party of Bangladesh said the commission's decision to introduce EVMs would be a wrong as most parties opposed it.
When election, if held at all, will not be free as such the Election Commission will have no role to play. It is for the Chief Election Commissioner to decide whether he should be holding the present position with no honest role to play.


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