17th amendment of Bangladesh constitution passed | Daily Star
07:06 PM, July 08, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:34 PM, July 08, 2018

17th amendment to constitution passed

The parliament today unanimously passed the 17th amendment to the constitution which increases the tenure of 50 lawmakers who are elected in the women reserved seat to 25 years.

The Bill was passed in the House by 298-0 vote as the speaker put it in the division vote.

Law Minister Anisul Huq placed the bill to keep the provision for securing the reserve seats for the women in the parliament with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

If the amendment was not brought, the next parliament would have no women in reserved seats. The bill was placed in the parliament on April 10 and it was sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny.

Nine lawmakers belonging to the main opposition Jatiya Party and Independent camp placed motions for inclusion of some provisions in the bill which were rejected in voice vote (295-0).

The JP and independent MPs who termed some provisions of the bill unconstitutional and argued for increasing the time for 10 years instead of 25 years voted against their proposals during division vote.

According to the Article 65 (3) of the constitution, 50 seats would be reserved exclusively for women in the parliament for 10 years from the first meeting of parliament after the one that passed the 14th constitutional amendment in 2004.

As per the constitution, the parliament shall consist of 300 members to be elected directly and 50 reserved seats for women to be allotted to parties based on their proportional representation in the House.

The incumbent 10th parliament has 350 members -- 300 elected in general elections and 50 lawmakers from reserved seat for women.

But the exiting 10-year tenure of the reserved seats is going to end on January 24, 2019.

According to the draft bill, the 25-year period of the reserved seats will be counted from the first day of the 11th parliament.

In 2004, the 8th parliament extended the tenure of the reserved seats by another 10 years through a constitutional amendment and it became effective in the 9th parliament, which sat on January 25, 2009.

The 8th parliament increased the number of reserved seats from 30 to 45 while the 9th parliament enhanced it to 50.

But the amendment did not extend the term of the quota.

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