Ordinance to be issued on EVM use if not placed in Parliament : EC secretary

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PNS Desk: The Election Commission (EC) is determined to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the upcoming 11th parliamentary election.

“If the amendment to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) for the use of EVMs in the general election is not placed in Parliament, we will get the approval through an ordinance to be issued by the president,” EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed told reporters on Thursday.

On August 30, the commission approved RPO amendments to use EVMs in the election. It sent the proposals about the amendment to the law ministry for vetting.

The proposals about RPO amendments will be placed in the Cabinet. From there, they will be sent to Parliament.

However, since the last session of the current parliament is going to end on Thursday there is no chance of the bill passing.

In that case after Cabinet approval, the proposed bill will be sent to the president. The president will then issue an ordinance.

Since their introduction in 2010, EVMs have thus far been used in different local government elections only.

Ruling Awami League is in favour of using EVMs for the national polls, by amending the RPO. However, BNP and left-leaning political parties have always opposed the idea, expressing concern that the machines could be used to rig the election.

EC Secretary Helaluddin said the election will be held in December but some newspapers are misleading people.

“This is not right,” Helaluddin said.

PNS/Tamanna Khan