Use ballots not EVMs, defer city polls if needed: Fakhrul

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:17, Jan 23,2020


Association of Engineers holds a seminar on electronic voting machine at Lakeshore hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday. — New Age photo

Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to defer the elections to two Dhaka city corporations, if needed, to hold the polls using ballots instead of Electronic Voting Machines.

The BNP leader made the comment in a seminar on ‘Possibility of election result manipulation by misusing controversial EVMs’ at a Hotel at capital’s Gulshan on Wednesday, nine days before the election scheduled to be held on February 1.

The Association of Engineers Bangladesh organised the seminar and demonstrated possible manipulation in election if EVMs are used in the polls.

The Election Commission decided to use EVMs in all the polling centres in the election and a representative team of BNP on Tuesday submitted a letter to the commission asking it not to use EVMs in the city polls.

‘People’s right to vote was snatched on December 30, 2018. Again another election is coming on February 1 and people’s right to vote would again be snatched through the system to be used in the election. We vehemently protested it. We still call for not to use EVMs and make arrangement for casting votes through ballots by deferring election date, if needed,’ he said.

He said that EVMs would not reflect the people’s mandate.  

He said that the present Election Commission as well as the government is behind the EVMs and that people had confidence neither in the commission nor in the government.

Fakhrul said that the commission was incompetent and subservient to the government and that they, being directed by the government, had held the December 30, 2018 elections and snatched people’s vote at the night following December 29, 2018.

‘There should be no reason of believing this Election Commission,’ he said.

Fakhrul, mentioning Dhaka north city’s ruling Awami League mayoral candidate Atiqul Islam’s comment regarding the attack on BNP mayoral candidate Tabith Awal by AL backed councilor as  BNP’s internal problem, said Atiqul’s comments are ‘shameful and unfortunate’.

With AEB acting president Riyazul Islam Rizu in the chair, the seminar was also addressed, among others, by former Dhaka University pro-vice-chancellor AFM Yusuf Haider and Shikhak Karmachari Oikya Parishad leader Selim Bhuiyan.

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