He made the announcement while attending a workshop program at the Barisal Circuit House on Wednesday.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), KM Nurul Huda, has announced that army personnel will be deployed across Bangladesh during the 11th general election.
He made the announcement at a workshop on using Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) to train Barisal and Faridpur election officials at Barisal Circuit House around 11am Wednesday .
The CEC also said: “The army will be deployed in the upcoming national elections, but not for any of the city corporation polls."
When asked about the participation of all parties in the elections, he said: “We cannot make special arrangements to encourage the participation of specific parties. We have already made earnest requests to every party in order to make this a contested election, and still urge them to take part. We hope Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will join the elections, but we do not have the time to ascertain the participation of every party.”
Asked about the use of EVMs at the election, Nurul Huda said: “Our country is moving ahead in technology, and we want to supersede the cumbersome, outdated method of paper ballots and transition into the modern age with these machines. After the success of EVM polling in 2008, we want to eventually switch completely to electronic voting. We want to have a proper, unbiased election, and EVMs are indispensable in this regard.”
The CEC also said: “When EVMs become the norm, complaints about unfair elections will cease. Since many people have issues regarding EVMs, we are familiarizing the people of the country with the machine to prove that they work properly. Hopefully, we will be able to put our point across.”
Asked about the Khulna City Corporation polls, he said apart from a few problematic centres, the election was completely fair and proper. “It is acceptable in the context of our country that three or four out of 289 polling centres might be shut down, pause, or suspend the voting process due to problems. However, we will try to make sure that this does not happen,” Nurul Huda also said.
“There were irregularities in three of Khulna’s 289 centres, and we shut them down. We have also looked into issues at other polling centres and found one more to have been compromised. We will take a decision about that in time,” he added.
“This may also happen in other city corporation elections, and we will either suspend voting or redo the election at those centres,” the CEC explained.
“We are trying to ensure fair elections in not just Barisal, but other city corporations as well. We will make sure we correct the mistakes we made in Khulna. We hope that we have the support and trust of everyone with regard to the use of EVMs in the elections, because only then can we successfully employ the machines,” Nurul Huda said.
“However, it will not be possible to use them at all polling centres,” he explained.
The workshop was presided by Barisal Deputy Commissioner, Md Habibur Rahman, with Director General of the National ID registration wing of the Election Commission, Brigadier General Mohammad Saidul Islam, inaugurating the workshop. Barisal Divisional Commissioner, Md Shahiduzzaman, Election Training Institute Director General, Mostafa Faruque, and Acting Commissioner of Barisal Metropolitan Police, Mahfuzur Rahman, among others, were present at the event.