BNP decides to stop MPs-elect from taking oath | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 29, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:26 AM, April 29, 2019

BNP decides to stop MPs-elect from taking oath

The BNP decided to write to the Speaker and the Election Commission to revoke the parliamentary membership of the party’s MPs-elect, if they take oath.

After the December 30 polls, the party announced that its MPs-elect would not take oath and join the House.

It will also go to the court to cancel their membership, said party insiders.

The BNP has already assigned its standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy to keep in close contact with its lawmakers-elect, they added. 

The BNP has already expelled Zahidur Rahman for taking oath as a member of the 11th parliament, going against the party’s decision.

After his swearing-in, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said their party was not worried over taking oath by its MP-elect Zahidur as he did it under “gov-ernment pressure”.

“We are in close contact with the party’s lawmakers-elect to refrain them from taking oath,” a senior leader told The Daily Star, wishing anonymity.

Soon after his remark, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said it was not her policy to divide any party or do anything that leads to a split in a party. She added that there was no pressure from the government on the elected MPs to be sworn in.

A day before the 90-day deadline for taking oath ends, BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman talked with three elected members of BNP via Skype last night.

The meeting sources said Tarique tried to separately persuade them not to take oath, but all of them said that there was “pressure” on them to take oath.

The BNP standing committee during a meeting last night at their Gulshan office requested the elected members not to take oath.

A member of the standing committee said they were frustrated by the MPs-elect wishing to take oath even after talking to Tarique Rahman.

Asked, BNP MP-elect Aminul Islam said they would have to abide by the party’s decision. Another MP-elect Harun-ur-Rashid refused to comment.

Article 67 (1) of the constitution says that a member of parliament shall vacate his seat if he fails to take oath within 90 days from the date of the first meeting of parliament after being elected. According to the constitution, if the BNP’s MPs-elect do not take oath by to-day, the Speaker may extend the deadline upon request.

The maiden session of the current parliament began on January 30 following the national election on December 30, 2018.

The Awami League bagged a landslide victory, securing 258 seats out of 300. The BNP-led JatiyaOikyafront got only eight seats. Gonoforum, a major component in the alliance, got two seats.

Immediately after the polls, the Jatiya Oikyafront rejected the election result, citing widespread irregularities and vote rigging.

The BNP and Gonoforum have been demanding a fresh election, saying that their MPs-elect will not take oath and join parliament.

Two MPs-elect of Gonoforum -- Sultan Muhammad Monsur Ahmed from Moulvibazar-2 and Mukabbir Khan from Sylhet-2 -- took oath on March 7 and April 2 respec-tively, defying the party’s decision.

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