EC’s decision on EVM uninfluenced by political parties’ opinions: CEC

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Dhaka, Aug 24: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal said that the decision of using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for national poll was taken by the Election Commission (EC) on its own.

While the political parties gave their opinions for and against the EVM during the dialogues, their views were not the main basis behind the decision, he told the media at his office in the election building on Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, in the commission meeting, it was decided to conduct polls by EVM for 150 seats in the upcoming national elections.

Kazi Habibul Awal also said that the decision regarding EVM has been taken considering the importance of fair voting and exercising voting rights.

There will be no crisis regarding EVMs in the next election, he assured.

“The decision to use EVMs is our own. The EC, not the political parties, will manage the voting. It is the big responsibility of the EC to organise the election. The EC will ensure that voting in elections can be freer and fairer. We have considered those who will come to vote. What the political parties have said was not our main concern,” said Kazi Habibul Awal.

“However, their [political parties] statements were taken into consideration. At the same time lakhs and crores of voters come to the voting centres to exercise their right to vote. To make sure they can vote better, we have taken this decision after a long discussion,” he added.

The EC held dialogues with 28 registered political parties out of the total 39 in July last. Nine political parties, including BNP and its alliance, boycotted the dialogue while two failed to take part.

Among the political parties participating in the dialogue, 15 parties opposed the use of EVMs. On the other hand, 11 political parties, including the Awami League, voted for it. Although the BNP and its alliance boycotted the dialogue, they too opposed the use of EVMs at various times.