The Cabinet on Monday gave its final approval for use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next general elections, amending the Representation of the People Order (RPO), reports BSS.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the weekly meeting of the cabinet which approved the proposed amendment to allow the independent Election Commission to use the EVMs.
“The Election Commission may now use the EVMs in the next general election through the amendment to the RPO,” cabinet secretary Md Shafiul Alam told a media briefing at the Bangladesh Secretariat after the meeting.
He said the draft “Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2018” would come into effect after proclamation of the ordinance by the President.
The amended law, he said, simultaneously would allow candidates to submit nomination papers online for contesting from any constituency as per rule set by the Election Commission.
The cabinet secretary said under the new law, loan defaulters could reschedule their loan at any time before submitting his or her nomination paper while previously they were required to reschedule the loans seven days ahead of filing the nomination papers.
The cabinet secretary said the act empowered the election commission with the huge authority to take measures to negate speculations involving the EVM mechanism and develop secured software for the digital voting system.
“EVM machines would stand alone non-network, neither computer-controlled nor connected to internet or any network. So the machines cannot be hacked,” he said.
Simultaneously, he said, the machines would be electronically protected to prevent any attempt to tamper or manipulate their mechanism.
Alam said the EVMs would have no radio frequency, receiver or data decoder while the machines would accept only specially encrypted and dynamically coated data to be developed by a select group of engineers to be appointed by the commission.
“All precautions and safety measure are there so that no voter is cheated or deprived while exercising his or her franchise,” he said.
At the beginning of the cabinet meeting Liberation War Affairs minister and secretary of the ministry handed over an album of rare 364 photographs of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the Prime Minister.
Private Partnership Partnership (PPP) Authority of the PMO handed over the gold and silver medal to the Prime Minister which they received from UK based Partnership Bulletin and newspaper on October 24 at a function in Sydney, Australia.
PPP Authority has received the gold medal in the Government PP Promoter of the Year category and silver medal in the Best Social Infrastructure Project category, the cabinet secretary said.
Civil Aviation minister and secretary also handed over the ICAO President Certificate to the Prime Minister which the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAB) received from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for effective implementation of security measures in Bangladeshi airports.
Later the Cabinet Division presented the quarterly report, July to September, 2018, on the implementation status of the cabinet decisions.
According to the report the cabinet, during the time, met ten times and took 83 decisions, of which 60 decisions were implemented by now while the rests are being executed.
During the time the government signed three agreements/ memorandums of understanding with foreign countries and the parliament passed 29 laws.
The Cabinet in today’s meeting approved as well drafts of three more acts and two policies with one being the proposed Bangladesh National Social Welfare Council Act, 2018.
The two others were drafts of the Brick Manufacturing and Brick Klin Set Up (Control) Act, 2018 and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University Act, 2018.
The policies adopted by the cabinet are- National ICT Policy, 2018 and National Telecommunications Policy, 2018.
The proposed law on brick fields proposed incentives for the manufacturing environment friendly of holo-brick and block and bar operations of brick klins without licenses. But no license, however, would be required for manufacturing blocks, the cabinet secretary said.
The law has empowered the deputy commissioner to scrap or suspend brick klin licenses for 90 days for violation of the any condition of the license or creating environmental hazard in the neighbourhood.
A person may get one year imprisonment or pay maximum penalty of Taka five lakh or both for violation of the law, the cabinet secretary said.
The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University Act, 2018 will has been passed to establish a higher educational institution to promot and upgrade the aeronautical and aerospace studies in the country.
Bangladesh Air Force Academy, Flying Instructor School, Flight Safety Institute, Command and Staff Training Institute, Aeronautical Institute, Officers Training Institute would emerge as affiliated bodies of the university under the proposed law.
“It will be a public university and run following the procedures of existing public universities with the president being its chancellor,” Alam said.
A serving or retired offiver of the air force holding the rank of Air Vice Marshal or above would be appointed as the university’s vice chancellor for four years on certain conditions.