The Election Commission (EC) today approved a Tk 8,711 crore project to procure Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for 150 constituencies, out of 300, for the 12th parliamentary election.
The project details will soon be sent to the Planning Commission for approval, Election Commissioner Md Alamgir said in a press briefing.
Earlier, the project was approved in a meeting of the commission. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal, who recently tested positive for Covid-19, joined the meeting virtually.
EC Alamgir said, “The commission earlier decided to use EVMs in 150 constituencies, in the next general election, but 1.5 lakh machines we currently have can be used in highest 70 to 80 constituencies.”
So, the project was approved to procure and maintain new EVMs, he said.
The Election Commission unveiled roadmap for next the general election at a function held at the auditorium of the Nirbachan Bhaban on Wednesday.
On August 23, the EC decided to use electronic voting machines instead of traditional ballot papers in maximum 150 constituencies in the next general election – likely to be held late next year.
The decision received strong opposition from BNP and its allies, who didn’t join the talks with the CEC that continued throughout the month of July.
However, the ruling Awami League welcomed the decision as it was their demand to use EVMs in all 300 seats in the next election.
Earlier, the commission had invited 39 political parties registered with it for talks on the use of electronic voting machines; 28 political parties responded to the commission’s invitations while 11 parties, including BNP, rejected it.