The Election Commission plans to hold the next parliamentary election in the last week of December
BNP Vice Chairman Abdullah Al Noman has said the ruling Awami League government wants to manipulate election results of the upcoming general election through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
He was addressing a rally organized to mark the 40th founding anniversary of the party, as chief guest, in front of Chittagong city BNP's Nasiman Bhaban office, at Nur Ahmed Road on Saturday.
Earlier, the Election Commission decided to procure 150,000 EVMs at an estimated cost of Tk3,821 crore.
Criticizing the Awami League government, Noman said: "They are plotting to rig votes with the EVMs. They are out to hold another election like 2014. The government has no confidence in the people.
“The people have not benefited from the incumbent government; instead the government is oppressing them.”
"We want the people's franchise. We want a peaceful election where everyone can exercise their voting rights.”
“Our party Chairperson Khaleda Zia is behind bars only because of political reasons. She was put behind bars as she tried to establish democracy in the country. Our chairperson must be released from jail unconditionally," demanded the BNP leader.
Urging the party men to remain united, Noman said, "There is no alternative to form unity among us and it is a must for victory against tyranny."
BNP Chittagong city chapter President Dr Shahadat Hossain chaired the program.
The rally was addressed by the party's senior leaders including Vice Chairman Mir Nasir Uddin, central leaders Mahbuber Rahman Shamim, SM Fazlul Haque and Abul Hashem Bakkar, among others.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has already announced to hold the next parliamentary election in the last week of December.
Since first introduced in 2010, the EVMs have so far been used in different local government elections only.
Ruling Awami League is in favour of using EVMs in the national polls, through amendment of the Representation of the People Order (RPO), but BNP and left-leaning political parties have always opposed the idea, expressing concern that the machines could be used to rig the election.
Last year, the commission had held dialogues with 39 political parties, 23 of which gave their opinion on the use of EVMs in the national polls. Twelve parties, including the BNP had directly opposed the idea.