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ECNEC likely to okay EVM project in next meeting

Published : Wednesday, 12 September, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 152

Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said electronic voting machine (EVM) project will be placed in the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for its approval.  
The minister said this while he was briefing reporters after the weekly ECNEC meeting held at the NEC conference room with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
"The EVMs may be used in the next general elections on a trial basis, but their use depends on the Election Commission's decision," he said.
He said the Election Commission has sent the project proposal to the Planning Commission for using EVMs in the next national elections. The project will be placed in the next ECNEC meeting for its approval
Responding to a query, the minister said it will not be possible to release the whole fund for the project at a time, but the fund will be released in phases.
Mustafa Kama said the EVMs have already been used in local body elections without any controversy.
The Election Commission (EC) has designed a project proposal to procure some 1.5 lakh EVMs at a cost of Tk 3,821 crore and sent it to the Planning Commission for clearance. The EC needs some 4 lakh machines to arrange the national elections fully based on EVMs across the country.
Besides, the Election Commission has already proposed amendment to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) incorporating a provision to pave the way for using the electronic voting machines instead of ballot papers in general elections.
BNP and the left-leaning political parties are against the Election Commission's plan to use the EVMs in the next parliamentary polls, alleging that the machines will be used to rig vote and ensure the ruling party's victory.
The Awami League has taken a neutral stance, leaving the matter of using EVMs on the Election Commission.

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