Dhaka, Aug 31 (UNB) – BNP on Friday turned down the Election Commission’s (EC’s) decision to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the national elections, saying such machines can easily be manipulated.
“The Election Commission in which we’ve no confidence will control the EVMs. We reject their decision of introducing EVMs in the national elections,” said BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed.
Speaking at a discussion, he also said BNP which, what he claims, represents most people of the country will not accept the use of EVMs in the polls. “We don’t accept the decision.”
Youth Forum, a pro-BNP platform, arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail.
Earlier on Thursday, the Election Commission at a meeting decided to send a proposal to the government for amending the electoral laws to pave the way for the use of EVMs in the general elections.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, alleged that the government is behind the EC’s such decision. “I think there’s a big conspiracy behind the move to use the machines for taking votes just three months ahead of the parliamentary polls. The government is directly involved with the plot.”
He said the EC’s hurried decision to use the voting machine has raised various questions in public mind.
Referring to Bangladesh Bank’s reserve heist, the BNP leader said how people can keep confidence in the electronic voting system in a country where central bank’s reserve was plundered through hacking.
“We would like to say voting machine manipulation is not a tough job in a country where central bank’s money can be looted by hacking,” he observed.
Moudud said many countries, including Germany, Italy and Ireland, discarded the use of EVMs in the polls. “Even, 73 percent people in India gave opinions against the EVM use…there’s no country where election was fair and unquestionable using the EVMs.”
He said the move to procure EVMs was taken to indulge in corruption and plunder public money. “Public money will only be wasted by buying the voting machines as those won’t be used in the polls.”
The BNP leader said the government is now trying to keep confidence in machines instead of people as people’s minds cannot be manipulated like machines.
About the efforts of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain to forge a national unity, Moudud said it will turn out to be a successful one as people want all to get united against the current government.
Earlier, at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also opposed the EC’s decision describing EVMs as the magic boxes of vote rigging.
“We think the unilateral decision of using EVMs was taken as part of a master plan to rig votes in the next parliamentary polls,” he observed.
The BNP leader also warned that people with their united efforts will foil the government’s all ‘evil plans’ to manipulate the next election.