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RESERVED SEATS

EC sets ball rolling to elect women MPs

Taib Ahmed

The Election Commission said Sunday it had assigned an officer to complete the groundwork for electing 50 MPs in seats reserved for women.
On Sunday Parliament secretariat sent to the EC, the list of newly elected MPs, as they would elect the women MPs.
The Jatiya Sangsad (seats reserved for women) Election Act 2004, requires the EC to hold the elections to the reserved seats within 90 days from the publication of the general election results in the official gazette.
In the controversial election held on January 5, the Election Commission declared 153 MPs elected in a 300-seat House even before the voting could start. 
Article 65(3) of the Constitution reserved 50 seats exclusively for women MPs to be elected by MPs.
EC officials said that they received the list of MPs, who had taken the oath.
EC secretary Muhammed Sadique told New Age the preparations were underway for holding the election in the reserved seats as early as possible.
‘We have assigned an officer to complete the groundwork’, he added.
The electoral laws call for a proportional distribution of the 50 reserved seats among the parties represented in Parliament.
The controversial January 5 election was marred by widespread ballot stuffing and violence.
Boycotted by the opposition, ruling Awami League managed to bag 231 seats in the virtually voter less election.
But for 14 seats, bagged by dissident ruling AL men, the rest were taken by the parties in the ruling coalition.
The 10th Parliament is headed to have no  opposition party worth the name.
It would have a domestic opposition party represented by Ershad faction of Jatiya Party, a ruling coalition partner.
Re-polling in 392 polling centres in eight constituencies is due on January 16.




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