EC should refrain from using EVM in the upcoming election
Prof Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar speaks to DOT :
Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Front warned that it will file a case against the government and the Election Commission (EC) if they try to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the 11th general election without amending the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. ASM Abdur Rab, founder secretary general of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal; said that it will be a violation of the Constitution of Bangladesh and an offence equivalent to treason if EVMs are used in the election, and we, Jatiya Okiya Front, will file a case if EC tries to use the EVMs in the election. Referring to Article 65 of the Constitution of Bangladesh, Rab said that parliament shall be formed by direct election, but voting through machines is not direct election. The proposed EVMs do not fulfill this condition. Therefore, using EVMs without amending the Constitution is impossible.” Rab further added that direct election means all the procedures are open and clear to the voters. In the context of Bangladesh, EVMs are obscure, undemocratic and not open.
Subrata Chowdhury, Executive President, Gano Forum said that the aftermath of using EVMs will be dangerous.
To Rab and many others of Oikyo Front, using EVM will create a scope of vote rigging as the system can be manipulated.
Meanwhile, the ruling quarter, Awami League is arguing in favour of EVM use saying that it is a modern and flawless system.
However, on this Friday, Mr. KM Nurul Huda, Chief Election Commissioner said that the EC will not backtrack from its decision to use EVMs in the 11th parliamentary election as he thinks that use of EVMs will make the elections easier and more transparent.
President Abdul Hamid promulgated the “Representation of the People Order (amendment) Ordinance, 2018”, paving the way for use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the upcoming national election (Source: The Daily Star).
In this regard, Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar, Secretary, Shushanar Janniya Nagorik (Shujan) spoke to Daily Our Time. He said that introducing a completely new method of voting in the upcoming election shall not be a wise decision. There are so much controversies already existing with regards to the upcoming election. Dr. Majumder further said that EC should not create new controversy through using EVM in the upcoming election, about which people do not know anything. There has been no demonstration of how EVM shall function before the political parties in the voting system who would participate in the 11th parliamentary election. No attempt has been taken to overcome the political parties’ skepticism regarding use of EVM in the upcoming election. Why EC is overly enthusiastic about using EVM is not clear to him. He holds the view that EC should refrain from using EVM in the upcoming election. This initiative may further wear down the buoyancy of the voters in the electoral system.
Interviewed by Tasmiah Nuhiya Ahmed, Executive Editor, Daily Our Time