The Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Thursday warned that the Election Commission would be liable for any evolving situation if it finally decided to use electronic voting machines in the forthcoming general election.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a news conference at the party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office in
Dhaka also asked the commission to give up its initiatives to buy EVMs.
The Election Commission should step back from the move for ‘digital rigging,’ otherwise every ‘conspirator’ would have to pay a heavy price for the ‘ill-attempt’, warned the secretary general.
Election Commission secretary Helaluddin Ahmed on Tuesday disclosed that the commission had been planning to use EVM in 100 constituencies during the next parliamentary election.
To justify their stance against EVM use, the secretary general presented a bunch of information saying that ‘fraud’ could be committed through EVM and it was well accepted in the world.
Fakhrul said EVMs were not used in 90 per cent democratic countries of the world.
A handful of countries after introducing the system had stepped aside following strong ‘doubt’ and ‘debate’, he further said.
He complained that the initiative to buy 1.50 lakh EVMs at a higher price spending about Tk 4,000 crore was nothing but an ‘evil partnership’ of the government and the commission to ‘plunder’ the public money.
He suggested that the Tk 4,000 could be spent in 11 sectors, namely in setting up CC camera at 44,000 polling centres for future elections, developing infrastructure of educational institutions to be used as polling centres and supplying necessary vehicles to upazila election officials for increasing their mobility.
At the news conference, Matt Bishop, professor of computer science department of University of California, through Skype said ‘tampering’ is possible by EVMs.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Mahbubur Rahman, Abdul Moyeen Khan and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury and organising secretary Shama Obaed, among others, were present at the news conference.
Fakhrul claimed that the ruling Awami League was trying to depend on ‘machines’ losing confidence on people.
The secretary general said people would resist the ‘ill-attempt’ of the commission to make the ruling party victorious using EVMs in next election.
Asked whether BNP would participate in the election if EVM was used, Fakhrul said the commission would not be able to execute it.
When most of the political parties were opposing EVM use, the EC, without consulting the parties decided to buy and use the machines to help Awami League, complained Fakhrul.
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