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Business News/ News / World/  Bangladesh to scrap EVMs and conduct general polls with paper ballots
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Bangladesh to scrap EVMs and conduct general polls with paper ballots

BEC Secretary further informed that paper ballots and transparent ballot boxes would be used in all 300 constituencies during the forthcoming polls which are scheduled for by early January 2024.

 This decision comes after major opposition political parties, including the BNP, strongly protested against the use of EVMs.(Photo By Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)Premium
This decision comes after major opposition political parties, including the BNP, strongly protested against the use of EVMs.(Photo By Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)

The Bangladesh Election Commission (BEC) said that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will not be used in the upcoming 12th parliamentary elections scheduled for January 2024. 

As per a report by India News Stream, this decision comes after major opposition political parties, including the BNP, strongly protested against the use of EVMs.

"The government’s lack of funding to buy new machines and refurbish the old ones is a major reason behind the decision. Therefore, all 300 parliamentary constituencies in Bangladesh would see the use of paper ballots and transparent ballot boxes" BEC Secretary Jahangir Alam said.

BEC Secretary further informed that paper ballots and transparent ballot boxes would be used in all 300 constituencies during the forthcoming polls which are scheduled for by early January 2024.

The Election Commission of Bangladesh had earlier planned to use EVMs in up to 150 constituencies.

“In our election roadmap, we had decided to use EVMs at a maximum of 150 constituencies. A TK 8,000 crore (US$ 757 million) project was undertaken in this regard, but that has not progressed," said Alam.

The issue of EVMs gained prominence after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced at an Awami League meeting on May 7, 2022, that they would be used in all 300 constituencies in Bangladesh.

This decision sparked a debate among various political parties and civil society groups, with some questioning the reliability and security of EVMs.

As per a report by AsiaNews, Agriculture Minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaque said that there is still some controversy about EVMs. "Many countries hold elections using this machine," he added.

The opposition in Bangladesh has accused the ruling party of rigging the previous elections and has demanded the establishment of a non-partisan government to avoid future electoral fraud.

 

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Published: 05 Apr 2023, 02:03 PM IST
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