Representatives of seven political parties, who met the election commissioners on Sunday, have asked the Election Commission (EC) to not use Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the upcoming national election.
However, they suggested limited experimental use of EVM instead.
Representatives of Jatiya Party, Bangladesh National Awami Party, Jaker Party, Bangladesh Muslim League, Gono Front, Bangladesh Jatiya Party, Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF), Nationalist Democratic Movement (NDM) and Bangladesh Congress expressed their view on EVM use at a meeting with the EC.
People still do not understand the electronic voting machine well, they said during the meeting held at the Election Commission building in the capital.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal said the commission does not want to impose its views on EVM on anyone.
Although 13 parties were invited to the dialogue on the first day on Sunday, representatives of 10 parties took part while Gono Forum Led by Dr Kamal Hossain, Krishak Sramik Janata League led by Kader Siddique and Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) led by Andaliv Rahman Partho did not attend the meeting despite receiving invitations.
The Jatiya Party (JAPA), the main opposition party in parliament, does not want EVMs to be used in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Its secretary general Mujibul Haque Chunnu said, "EVM can be used experimentally. But using it in all 300 seats would be a mess. People are not ready to vote in EVM."
Jatiya Party (JP) secretary general Sheikh Shahidul Islam said, "I am in favor of using technology. If vote is taken in EVM, it should be used in all 300 seats."
Gono Front Chairman, Zakir Hossain said, "People still do not understand this new technology. It can be experimentally introduced on a small scale."
Bangladesh Jatiya Party praesidium member HM Masum Billah said, "Many countries have moved away from EVM voting. There is also a debate about this in Bangladesh."
Atiqul Islam, a member of the standing committee of the Bangladesh Muslim League, said people still call the technology digital fraud.
After a two-hour meeting, the CEC said, "Any proposal is constructive. I will consider all the inputs with due respect. Many people are positive about EVMs, while others say that it would not be appropriate to use EVMs. But many aspects of EVM were unknown to them, so our experts explained the issues in the meeting."
The commission will exchange views on EVMs with representatives of 39 political parties registered with the EC.