No EVMs in 12th parliamentary election, ballot papers to be used in 300 seats: EC secretary

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will not be used in the 12th parliamentary election, said election commission (EC) secretary Md Jahangir Alam on Monday.

Voting will be held using ballot papers in 300 seats, he told reporters after a meeting of election commissioners at the EC secretariat.

The EC secretary said they took the decision to use ballot paper due to lack of political consensus and necessary resources.

On 23 August, the EC decided to use EVMs instead of traditional ballot papers in maximum of 150 constituencies in the next general election – likely to be held early next year.

On 19 September last year, the Election Commission approved a Tk 87.11 billion project to procure electronic voting machines (EVMs) for 150 constituencies, out of 300, for the 12th parliamentary election.

The decision received strong opposition from BNP and its allies, who did not join 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.

On 23 January, this year the government decided not to proceed with purchasing 200,000 electronic voting machines (EVMs) citing the global economic recession.