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LDP and JP against EVM use

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 12:16 PM    |     Modified: Sunday, October 22, 2017 12:16 PM

Dhaka: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Thursday proposed that the Election Commission deploy army during the next general election.

The party also proposed that the parliamentary constituencies are not demarcated before the election.

An LDP delegation, led by its President Col (retd) Oli Ahmad, took part in a meeting held with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair.

“It’s essential to deploy army 15 days before the national election to recover illegal arms for the sake of holding a fair election. It’s also important to bring every polling station under the supervision of army, and they should be given power like that of law enforcement agencies,” Oli told reporters after the meeting.

Noting that they placed a 12-point proposal before the Commission, he said Parliament must be dissolved with the announcement of the election schedule.

“We don’t have objection over the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs). But the existing method of EVMs is not acceptable to us. Voter verifiable paper audit trial method will have to be ensured in EVMs and there should be consensus first to introduce the machines in the election,” the LDP chief said.

Oli said they suggested the Commission send ballot papers to the polling stations in the morning of the polls day to prevent the ballot-stuffing at the night.

About the format of election-time government, he said they did not place any proposal over the interim government before the EC. “There’s no scope of raising any proposal over the type of election-time government here. The EC has no jurisdiction over it. We’ll place the proposal before the government.”

LDP’s other proposals are introduction of vote-casting through taking fingerprints, making a provision to carry NID cards mandatory by voters to exercise their voting rights and arresting identified criminals 30 days before the polls.

Joining the EC’s separate dialogue on the same day, Jatiya Party (JP) proposed that the Commission conduct the election with the existing delimitation of constituencies and do not use EVMs without earning political consensus and public confidence in the machines.

A JP delegation, led by its chairman Environment and Forests Minister Anwar Hossain Manju, took part in the talks with the CEC in the chair.

“Our party’s stance is that it should go beyond the Constitution… our position is in favour of election. The election should be held in a fair manner,” Manju told reporters after the meeting.

About the army deployment, he said, “We’re neither in favour of nor against the army deployment.”

JP Secretary General Sheikh Shahidul Islam said, “We want a meaningful inclusive election and all parties will join it. But it doesn’t mean that the election can’t be meaningful without the participation of one or two parties.”

With this dialogue with the JP and LDP, the EC completed its talks with all the 40 registered political parties taking their opinions over the Commission’s preparation for arrangement of the 11th parliamentary election likely to be held in December 2018.

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