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BNP boycotts EC’s dialogue on EVM

The Election Commission (EC) has started its three-phase talks with the 39 registered political parties for verification of the technical issues of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) ahead of the upcoming general elections.

Though 13 political parties were invited to join in the second phase of talks but five political parties, including Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), did not joined in the talks.

Earlier, in the first phase 13 parties, including Jatiya Party (JaPa), were invited by the Election Composition to join in talks over EVMs. On June 19, nine political parties sans–Gono Forum, Krishak Sramik Janata League and Bangladesh Jatiya Party—joined the talks.

After the talks, JaPa secretary general Mujibul Haque Chunnu told reporters that a meeting of their presidium members on Sunday morning had decided that they will support the existing system of electoral process and they see no need to use EVM.

The second phase talks started at city’s Nirbachan Bhaban in the afternoon with Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal in the chair.

Bangladesh Khilafat Andolan, National People’s Party-NPP, Jamiyat-e-Ulamaye Islam, Bangladesh, Islamic Front Bangladesh, Islami Oikya Jote, Bangladesh Khilafat Majlis, Bangladesh Islamic Front, Khilafat Majlis and Bangladesh Muslim League-BML joined the today’s talks with the Election Commission while Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), Bangladesh Kalyan Party, Islamic Andolan Bangladesh and Bangladesh Muslim League-BML abstained from it.

Election Commissioners Ahsan Habib Khan, Rasheda Sultana and Md. Alamgir; EC Secretary Humayun Kabir Khandaker and additional secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath were present in the talks, among others.

In the last phase, the 13 parties invited on June 28 are ruling Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, Communist Party of Bangladesh-ML, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Liberal Democratic Party-LDP, Ganatantri Party, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-Jasad, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal-Basad, Bangladesh National Awami Party-Bangladesh NAP, Biplabi Workers Party of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Sanskritik Muktijote.

The EC currently has 1 lakh 54 thousand EVMs, with which voting can be done in maximum 100 seats while three hundred more machines are needed to use this voting machine in 300 seats.