Stating that the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) is an ‘ill-motivated government project’ to destroy people’s voting rights, BNP on Sunday urged the Election Commission (EC) to shelve its plan to use it in the upcoming elections to two Dhaka city corporations.
“The Election Commission’s decision to use the EVMs in the polls to Dhaka south and north city corporations is part of an evil plan to implement a silent project of killing people’s voting rights by using the technology in the future election in which the government is changed,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He further said, “BNP thinks the decision to sue this machine in Bangladesh’s election system is a serious conspiracy. We hope the Election Commission will take steps for holding the election through traditional ballot papers cancelling its decision to conduct the voting through the EVM so that people can freely exercise their right to franchise.”
Fakhrul came up with the remarks while speaking at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
As part of their sense of responsibility to protect people’s voting rights, he said BNP is protesting the EC’s stance on using the EVMs in the city polls.
Asked what their party will do if the EC does not retreat from its decision on EVM use, the BNP leader said they will take their decision in this regard after observing the Commission’s reaction to their demand.
As his attention was drawn to an Election Commissioner’s comment that BNP has wrong perception about EVMs, Fakhrul said, “We don’t want the voting to be held through the EVMs as there’re many scopes to rig votes, no matter what the Commissioner says.”
He said their party has taken a position against the use of EVMs in the polls as they think the elections and the results can be manipulated if the voting is held with this machine.
The BNP leader said the EC has indulged in a plot to rig votes silently in the city polls through a digital system. “The EVM is controversial in the electoral process around the world. But the Election Commission has unilaterally decided to use such machines at all the polling stations in the Dhaka city polls.”
He said the EC has decided to use the EVMs so that the ruling party needs not to indulge in nighttime ‘vote robbery’ amid uproar. “If the EVMs are used, everybody will see things are normal, but the vote rigging will take place silently and digitally.”
The BNP leader said people are not familiar with the voting system through the machine while the EC also did not give them proper training to use it.
Fakhrul alleged that the Election Commission is trying to dent the image of the Army by engaging its members with the controversial ‘silent vote-rigging method EVM. “We think this is part of a deep conspiracy.”
He said it is the responsibility of all the citizens and the political organisations to keep the patriotic force Army above any controversy. “So, we call upon the government and the Election Commission to keep our patriotic force out of any kind of controversial activities.”