The ruling Bangladesh Awami League has strongly supported use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the next parliamentary elections to ensure transparency in the voting.
“Use of EVM has to be increased in the 12th parliamentary polls. There is nothing to hide and seek. This is clear,” Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said on Tuesday.
This was the EC’s third phase of talks with political parties on the EVM use in the election. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal attended the meeting.
Earlier, the EC invited all the registered political parties to attend dialogue on EVM use in the next national election.
A total of 13 political parties, including the Awami League, joined the talks with the EC.
Eight political parties, including Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) boycotted the talks.
The EC has already completed two phases of dialogue, where many political parties have supported the use of EVM but some have opposed EVM use in the election.
He also thanked the EC on behalf of the Awami League and the party president Sheikh Hasina for inviting them to the talks.
Quader said the EC’s acceptability, neutrality and capacity are important for holding a free and fair election.
“Also, the EC needs to ensure its neutrality, overall security and increased use of EVM in voting,” he said.
Suggesting that returning and polling officers be made from government officials, Quader urged the EC not to appoint any controversial person or any organsiation as a poll observer.
An AL elegation led by Obaidul Quader joined the meeting. Other members of the team are AL presidium members Kazi Zafrullah and Faruk Khan, information and research secretary Selim Mahmood, office secretary Biplab Barua and his deputy Sayem Khan.
After emerging from the meeting, the AL spokesperson told the media that they hope that BNP will finally participate in the next parliamentary elections.
“We don’t want a big party like BNP to be out of the polls. I also said it before that BNP will finally join the polls. We want a competitive election. We want them to join the polls,” he said.
Quader also said they have been showing positive attitude towards BNP and that is why they (BNP) had been invited to the Padma Bridge inauguration.
Participation in election is the right of a political party, not an opportunity. If they believe in democracy, they will join the polls,” he added.