MT Online Desk:
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader says a note of dissent and a subsequent walkout from a meeting by an election commissioner over e-voting in the upcoming parliamentary polls is the beauty of democracy.
Quader does not perceive Mahbub Talukdar’s stance on the use of electronic voting machines in the forthcoming general election as a ‘complication’ in the Election Commission.
“Five members comprise the Election Commission and it is natural for one of them to provide a note of dissent. This is the beauty of democracy,” he told reporters at the Sylhet Circuit House on Friday.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda had said earlier that EVMs will not be used unless the political parties reach a consensus.
However, the five-membered Election Commission had a meeting on Thursday to initiate an amendment to the election law, the Representation of the People Order or RPO, in order to pave the way for using the EVMs in the national election.
Talukdar walked out of the meeting in the very beginning providing his ‘note of dissent’ against the use of EVMs in the upcoming general election, while CEC Nurul Huda continued the meeting with other three election commissioners—Md Rafiqul Islam, Kabita Khanam and Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury.
The commission determined to amend the RPO to use the EVMs in the general election, based on the opinion of the majority of the members, the CEC said.
Quader viewed the commissioner’s disagreement as proof of the prevalence of democracy.
“The Election Commission also runs itself democratically. Any of the EC members has the right to dissent. Why would we call it a complication? The other four people also have the right to express their opinions just like the one who already objected.”
“Those who have power, affordability, faith in people and confidence in public support will never present such a condition,” said Quader when asked about the BNP’s conditions in relation to the 11th national election.
The BNP that had boycotted the 10th general election said the ‘people’ will not allow any election to take place, unless the government meets the demands of a non-partisan election-time government and releases BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had never put forward any condition in 1970 as he had a profound faith in the people’s support, said Quader drawing an analogy of the election in 1970.