Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Friday said they will introduce electronic voting machines (EVMs) to “eliminate stuffing of ballot boxes the night before elections”.
He was speaking at a training workshop of the election officials at Election Commission, ahead of the fifth Upazila Parishad pols scheduled to start on Sunday.The CEC said, “EVMs will be introduced to stop filling up ballot boxes the night before the election day.”
“The commission has no right to say who are responsible for stuffing ballot boxes the night before the election day,” he said.
“The EC has not the qualification to teach anyone anything and say who are responsible for what. We all have to see the matter together, then the condition will improve,” the CEC said.
Expressing frustration over “the ongoing spate of poll irregularities”, the CEC said the commission introduced voters list with photographs to hold elections in a free, fair and credible manner but the effort has gone on vain.
He said the trend of irregularities in the election is gradually moving towards deterioration which has already gone out of our control.
He stressed the need for taking a tough stance through proper enforcement of relevant laws in resisting election irregularities and asked all election officials to discharges their duties upholding professionalism.“The election irregularities can’t be stopped despite enforcement of relevant laws and adoption of the electoral code of conduct. We will have to get rid of the situation,” he said.
“Political parties will take part in election while people will cast their votes as owner of the country and we will discharge our duties in smooth way to hold a trouble-free election and it should be,” he said.
Conducting an election in a nonpartisan manner will be the main role of the election officials and their political believes and identities will not be considerable in any circumstances, said Nurul Huda.
The fifth upazila polls will be held in 480 out of the 492 upazilas across the country in five phases from March this year.
The first phase of the election is scheduled to be held on March 10 while the second phase on March 18, the third phase on March 24, the fourth phase on March 31 and the last phase election on June 18, according to the schedule.
The fourth upazila election was held in 2014 in six phases. A total of 487 upazilas went to polls in six phases at that time.
The Upazila Parishad was initiated in 1985 and its election was held in a single day in 1990 and 2009. But in 2014, the EC conducted the election in six phases.