Friday, April 19, 2019

Preparations for election to women's reserved seats begin

  • Moinul Hoque Chowdhury bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-01-10 16:06:28 BdST

bdnews24

As the dust settles on the 11th national polls, the Election Commission’s focus has now turned to the contest for the parliamentary seats reserved exclusively for women.

Nomination papers for the election have already been printed amid growing clamours of women’s organisations ahead of the voting.

The reserved seats for women are allocated to political parties in proportion with their number of seats in parliament. Accordingly, 43 seats will be allotted to the Awami League, four to the Jatiya Party, one apiece for the BNP and the Workers’ Party while the independent candidates may receive one seat if they join the votes.

Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad, the leader of the opposition in parliament, has submitted a list of four candidates from his party to the speaker on Wednesday.

The election to the 50 reserved seats is required to be held within 90 days after the election results are published in a gazette.

The Election Commission has accordingly started preparations for the election, said Mukhlesur Rahman, the Election Commission’s additional secretary.

“The commission will announce the election schedule once the necessary preparations are completed,” he told bdnews24.com.

The first session of the new parliament is scheduled to begin on Jan 30. The election to the reserved seats could be held that day if preparations are completed by then.

On Jan 1, the gazette with names and addresses of elected MPs of 298 constituencies was published. The death of a candidate at Gaibandha-3 led to the rescheduling of voting in that seat to Jan 27 while the result of Brahmanbaria-2 was confirmed on Wednesday after voting had been suspended there on Dec 30.

But the BNP and its Oikya alliance MPs, who rejected the election results, have not been sworn in to parliament.  According to the constitution, only the MPs who took their oaths of office are allowed to vote in the election for the women’s reserved seats.