20 September 2018, Thu, 2:02

TIB expresses concern over EVM purchase

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed concern over the government's approval of purchasing Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), spending a huge amount of money before analysing its suitability, examining technical skill of Election Commission officials and without taking into consideration of voters' preparation.

In a press release yesterday, TIB also raised question whether it would be possible to ensure transparency in such a big purchase because of hastiness.

On Tuesday, Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the proposal for purchasing 1.5 lakh EVMs in three phases in the next five years spending about Tk 3,825 crore.

Before the announcement of the national election schedule, nomination seekers' campaign and implementation of projects in the name of development to increase popularity are against the spirit of creating a level-playing field for all contenders, TIB said.

TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said the decision of purchasing EVM spending huge money was unreasonable, irrational and unacceptable without taking into consideration of voters' preparation and examining necessary technical skill of Election Commission officials and those who will discharge election duties.

He said it had been seen that before the declaration of the 11th parliamentary election schedule, election campaign was being conducted, which is totally conflicting with the democratic culture of polls. “Silence of the Election Commission in this regard is disappointing.”