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The Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday passed the 'Representation of the People Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019' for incorporating provisions to introduce the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and online nomination submission system in the national election.

Law, justice and parliamentary affairs minister Anisul Huq moved the bill in the house which was passed by a voice vote.

As per the bill, the Bangladesh Election Commission will have the authority to introduce the EVM system, approve the EVM format and EVM software, and take safety measures for EVMs.

The bill proposed a number of safety measures for the EVMs to allay people's fear over the security features of the electronic machines.

The commission may approve an EVM considering the safety measures mentioned according to the bill.

As per the bill, the machine will not have any network, internet connection, computer control and radio frequency. The EC will have to ensure that EVMs cannot be altered or tampered.

Besides, a provision was kept in the bill to introduce the online system for submission of nomination papers alongside the manual one.

According to the bill, a loan defaulter will have to pay his loan before the day of submission of nomination papers to contest the election.

On 31 October, president Abdul Hamid promulgated the 'Representation of the People Order (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018' to pave the way for the use of EVMs in the 11th national election held on 30 December last.

On 26 February, the 'Representation of the People Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019' was placed in the House to get endorsement of the parliament.

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