Vol. 5 Num 691 Wed. May 10, 2006  
Front Page

Controversial Voter List
EC to use it to make database
As much as Tk 7cr may be spent on it while previous roll remains unused

The Election Commission (EC) has taken measures to prepare a new voter database on the basis of the controversial fresh voter roll while the one prepared in 2000 still remains unused, sources said.

The EC Secretariat at a meeting on Monday assigned some officials concerned to devise plans for preparing the database and estimate the total cost for the task, added the sources.

An official of the Secretariat hinted that a database of 9.13 crore voters might cost between Tk 6 crore and Tk 7 crore.

The previous voter database was prepared at a cost of about Tk 5.3 crore. Containing information on voters, it was aimed at facilitating revision of the existing voter roll instead of preparing a fresh one ahead of every parliamentary election.

Former chief election commissioner (CEC) MA Syed, who retired in May last year, was keen to use the database in preparing the voter list for the next general election. But he could not initiate any move to this end.

Then as current CEC MA Aziz unilaterally decided to go for a fresh voter list, the database prepared in 2000 has not been of any use.

So, the database now being planned to be prepared based on the controversial fresh roll might too go down the drain if the EC in the future again prefers a fresh voter list ahead of parliamentary polls, observed an election official seeking anonymity.

At Monday's meeting, the EC Secretariat also discussed the issue of printing the fresh voter list, draft of which was published on May 3. The date for publication of the final list has yet to be declared.

There has been widespread controversy over the draft roll for unusual rise in the number of voters. Still the final roll will see little change from it [draft], as the commission does not have at its disposal any appropriate mechanism to detect ghost voters or other anomalies, said officials at the EC Secretariat.

About the preparation for printing the voter list before publication of the final list, a senior officer wishing anonymity told The Daily Star,"As very little time is left for the commission to go before the election, we want to complete by this time the preliminary process regarding the printing job."