Polls with EVM in 150 seats depend on project approval by govt

CEC Kazi Habibul Awal talks to media as other commissioners listensFile photo

Chief election commissioner (CEC) Habibul Awal on Tuesday said there is no guarantee whether the voting at maximum 150 seats in the next parliamentary election will be held with electronic voting machines (EVMs).

The matter of using EVM in the polls solely depends on the approval of EVM purchase project by the government. If the government sees the project ineffective, it won’t be approved, the CEC added. 

CEC Habibul Awal came up with this development on Tuesday morning after a meeting with the leaders of Election Monitoring Forum at Nirbachan Bhaban at Agargaon in Dhaka.

The election commission has already sent a proposal of Tk 87.11 billion to the planning commission over buying 200,000 EVMs.           

Habibul Awal said, “We have decided to hold voting with EVM at a maximum 150 constituencies in the next national election. But it is uncertain till now because it counts on the approval of the project by the government. Since there is a financial issue, the government could disapprove of it deeming it ineffective.”        

He said the main issue is to hold a free, fair and participatory election, not to cast votes with EVMs or ballots.