Bangladesh: Bangladesh Election Commission considering bigger role for Electronic Voting Machines |

The Election Commission is mulling over using the electronic voting machines in the national elections riding on its overwhelming success in the Comilla city polls. Bangladesh’s smallest city corporation went to the vote on Thursday without any ballot paper to mark the first full-fledged electronic election in Bangladesh. The electronic machines were experimentally used in Chittagong and Narayanganj city corporation elections.

Citizens Committee candidate Monirul Haque Sakku, an expelled BNP leader, claimed a landslide victory and became the first mayor of Comilla with 65,577 votes, while his nearest rival ruling Awami League-backed Afzal Khan got 36,471 votes. During the daylong ballot, where a total of 169,273 voters cast their votes at 421 polling booths of the 65 polling centres from 8am to 4pm, both voters and the contestants expressed their satisfaction with regard to the EVMs.

Bangladesh: Khaleda: No vote without army |

The opposition will accept no election with electronic voting machines in use under a partisan government, BNP chief Khaleda Zia said, adding that army will have to be deployed in the upcoming election. “We will not accept any vote under the partisan government. We will not allow such elections in the country. Now they [the government] are conspiring two things, holding the polls without deploying army and getting the ballots on EVM,” Khaleda told a wayside in Jessore on Sunday, as part of her two-day road march to Khulna.

“We want to say that no polls without the army (deployment) will be allowed. The EVMs are vote manipulation machines. We do not accept them.” The BNP-backed candidate was withdrawn from the Narayanganj City Corporation mayoral race only seven hours before the vote on Oct 30 as the army was not deployed.

Bangladesh: Last chance for Bangladesh National Party | The Daily Star

The Election Commission wants the cabinet division and three ministries concerned to do the administrative job ahead of the parliamentary polls in consultation with it.

Talking to reporters yesterday, Election Commissioner M Sakhawat Hussain said the EC has already suggested incorporating a provision in the Representation of People Order to that end. “We have proposed that the cabinet division and home, LGRD and public administration ministries consult the commission while discharging administrative duties,” Sakhawat added.

Bangladesh: Bangladesh Nationalist Party attacks Electronic Voting Machines, e-vote |

Opposition BNP has attacked the electronic voting machine (EVM) as ‘a key tool to rig vote’ and said the government plans to introduce e-voting to doctor up election results. Acting secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir inveighed against the EVM and e-voting at a workshop titled ‘Electronic Voting System’ organised by Centre for National Studies (CNS) at BRAC Centre Inn Auditorium at Mohakhali in the city on Tuesday.

“As part of its design, the government has abolished the caretaker government system through the 15th Amendment to the constitution. Their objective is to change public verdict by holding the next parliament election under the elected government.”

Fakhrul said the initiative to introduce EVM was a part of that government plot.

Bangladesh: Electronic Voting Machines likely in N’ganj city polls | The Daily Star

The Election Commission (EC) plans to introduce electronic voting machine (EVM) experimentally in the Narayanganj City Corporation polls. The EC will hold the election within 180 days after formation of the corporation, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda said yesterday.

The government on May 5 declared the Narayanganj municipality as Narayanganj City Corporation and appointed its administrator on June 23 this year. As per the law, the election should be held before November 5.

The CEC said voters will get to know the system if it is introduced in different local government polls before the general election, which is due in 2014.

Bangladesh: Editors tell Bangladesh Election Commission: Don’t do E-Voting alone |

Editors have urged the Election Commission to introduce electronic voting machine (EVM) in consultation with the opposition. They came up with their opinion in a views-exchange meeting with the Commission on Saturday.

The editors, however, said the opposition should not show any reservation against the voting technology before assessing it properly. They suggested the EC to put in more efforts to have a positive feedback from the main opposition to make its initiative fruitful.

Bangladesh: Election Commission begins dialogue with Bangladesh political parties | The Daily Star

The Election Commission yesterday kicked off their elaborate dialogue process for reforms in the EC with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Jatiya Party (JP) expressing their support for introduction of an electronic voting system (EVS) in the next general polls.

As the main opposition BNP continued to shun it, both LDP and JP expressed their satisfaction with the electronic system at talks that lasted for over three hours.

… One of the main questions raised by the political parties was if there was any scopes to manipulate the casting of votes or cast fake votes using this system which the BUET professor said was not possible.

The EVS has been prepared locally under the joint collaboration of BUET and Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory.

Bangladesh: Prime Minister of Bangladesh for strong Electoral Commission and e-voting | The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday reiterated her government’s plans to further strengthen the Election Commission (EC) and introducing electronic voting system in the country to hold free, fair and neutral elections in future.

“None would be able to cast more than one vote and snatch ballot boxes with the introduction of new digital system in polling process. Apart from Bangladesh and Pakistan, the electronic voting system has already been introduced in all countries of the subcontinent,” she said.

Bangladesh: Opposition strike over change in electoral system grips Bangladesh |

Steel helmeted riot police patrolled the streets of the capital today as a dusk-to-dawn general strike called by opposition groups to protest the government’s decision to change electoral system paralysed Bangladesh.

The strike was called after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party announced plans last week to scrap the country’s electoral system under which a caretaker government takes over during election time.

Bangladesh: Prime Minister asks: Hartal [Strike] against Bangladesh government or court? | The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday castigated the main opposition BNP for calling a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal on Sunday on the caretaker government issue.

“Has BNP called for the hartal against the government or the court that declared the caretaker government system illegal?” she questioned when a delegation of Nitol-Niloy and IPSSL groups called on her at her office in the afternoon.

Bangladesh: BNP and its ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami have called a daylong countrywide general strike on Sunday |

The main opposition BNP and its ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami have called a daylong countrywide general strike on Sunday to protest the government move to discard the caretaker government provision for the next general elections in line with a court order.

BNP acting secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the dawn-to-dusk shutdown at a press conference at party’s Naya Paltan-based headquarters on Wednesday.

Bangladesh: Parties asked to find solution – Former Bangladesh caretaker government advisers warn of instability | The Daily Star

Former advisers to different caretaker governments have urged political parties not to create instability in the country centring the interim rule and suggested that they find a solution on the basis of mutual understanding.

Disputes among the political parties over holding the next general elections might lead to another political unrest, threatening continuation of democracy and public safety, they fear.

Bangladesh: Moudud Ahmed says BNP to boycott e-voting in Bangladesh |

A [Bangladesh Nationalist Party] BNP policymaker has said they will not take part in elections if the government introduces e-voting, as it will be ‘a tool of vote rigging’.

“We won’t accept e-voting and take part in elections. Elections must be held under the existing voting system,” Moudud Ahmed said at a human chain programme at the South Plaza of the parliament building on Saturday morning.

Bangladesh: Election Commission set to introduce electronic polling in Bangladesh over BNP opposition | Gulf Times

The Election Commission (EC) is set to introduce electronic voting machines (EVM) in the coming general elections to stop malpractices during polling but the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, headed by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has already rejected the plan. Despite BNP’s rejection, the Election Commission will start a series of dialogues with registered political…