'Our EVMs are of high quality. No fake votes can be cast using those'
The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda has said the electronic voting machines (EVMs) that will be used at the upcoming Dhaka city elections, will deter a casting of spurious votes.
He said: "Our EVMs are of high quality. No fake votes can be cast using those."
The CEC was speaking at a security-related meeting with the chiefs of different law enforcement agencies at the commission headquarters in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The comment made by the CEC came at a time when BNP and its alliance are opposing the use of EVMs in the polls, saying the voting machine is an ill-motivated government project to destroy people's voting rights.
Emphasizing the reliability of the voting machines, the CEC said that the United States ambassador to Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Army chief recently inspected the electronic voting system and expressed their satisfaction with it.
During the meeting, Nurul Huda said the Election Commission is determined to hold free, fair and credible elections and urged the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the Dhaka city elections are free from any irregularities or mismanagement.
'Election Commission sincere to hold fair polls'
He said the Election Commission has the commitment and institutional capacity to conduct a free, fair and participatory election.
"We do not want to come by any complaints regarding any irregularities and negligence in duty by law enforcement officials. In the event of any minor issues arising, you will have to resolve them through exercising your powers. We will not let anyone get away with negligence in their prescribed roles at the upcoming elections," the CEC said.
"We are sincere about holding a free, fair and credible election and we expect to have your [police] full cooperation in the same way we had previously.
"Please resolve any issue that emerges to make sure that voters can cast their ballots without fear.
"We often receive complaints that polling agents are not present at the centres. Of course you will not have to bring the agents from their homes, but please make sure that no candidate's agents are driven away from the centres," he said.
The CEC warned that the commission would take measures if law enforcers were found wanting in carrying out their duties during the elections.
Expressing satisfaction at the environment leading up to the polls, Huda said: "All eyes are on the Dhaka city elections. We are in a difficult position. Everyone is anticipating a festive atmosphere for the elections. We must value that and discharge our duties properly."
He stressed that the law enforcement agencies would ensure a free and fair environment so that voters could exercise their franchise.
The law enforcement agencies would have to ensure that polling agents and Election Commission staff members were able to perform their responsibilities properly, the CEC added.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) elections are rescheduled for February 1.