The Election Commission says they will not use the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the next general election, a day after Khaleda Zia voiced her opposition to the use of the machines at a public rally.
Apparently enjoying the BNP's confidence nine months into its formation, the commission is, however, positive about the deployment of the army surrounding the polls.
But an election commissioner would not say if the army will have magistracy power. "We, including the chief election commissioner, feel that the army should be deployed.
But right at this moment we cannot specifically say how we are going to use them and under what process they will be engaged because no discussion on that has taken place so far," Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar told bdnews24.com yesterday.
"Time will say how the army will be mobilized but we will never say that troops will not be deployed," he added. On EVMs, the commissioner said: "Old ones have been out of operation. However, we will try out a few machines that are still working in Rangpur in some other city polls.""But the commission does not plan to use EVMs in the next parliamentary election," he went on.
"Currently we lack the preparedness for using EVMs. We want to ensure a fair election which is not possible with faulty machines." The BNP, which boycotted the 10th Parliamentary Polls, now wants a 'polls-time facilitating government'.
Addressing her party rally at the Suhrawardy Udyan on Sunday, BNP chief Khaleda demanded that magistracy power be given to the army deployed during the next parliamentary polls and also called on the commission to ensure that no EVMs are used for balloting.
The EC's decision on army deployment did not come following Khaleda's call, said Talukdar.
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