AL-JP Seat-Sharing: Hasina, Ershad may sit today
12:00 AM, November 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:14 AM, November 23, 2018

AL-JP Seat-Sharing: Hasina, Ershad may talk it out today

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad is likely to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also chief of the ruling Awami League, at the Gono Bhaban today amid disagreement between the two parties over seat-sharing, said JP sources.

The JP believes the meeting will help settle the issue, the sources said. 

Meanwhile, several AL leaders, wishing not to be named, said the ruling party almost finalised MP candidates in many constituencies, though it was yet to formally discuss the matter with the JP and partners of the AL-led 14-party alliance.

An AL presidium member said the seat-sharing issue would be settled by Monday.  

“We hope to make the list of the parliamentary aspirants of the Awami League-led grand alliance public by Sunday or Monday,” the leader, also a member of the Awami League Parliamentary Board, told The Daily Star yesterday.

Initially, the JP had demanded 100 out of the 300 parliamentary seats for the December 30 national election. That demand, however, was rejected by the AL high-ups.

Later, the party tried to persuade the AL to give it at least 50 seats. The ruling party offered it maximum 35, causing discontent among top Jatiya Party leaders, including Ershad, several JP leaders told The Daily Star.

JP presidium member SM Foysal Chisty said the way AL leaders were behaving with them over the issue made them upset.

“We had discussions with Awami League leaders several times in recent days. However, the meetings yielded no results,” another JP presidium member said.

“We hope the seat-sharing issue would be resolved tomorrow [today] as the prime minister has agreed to sit with our chairman,” the leader said, wishing not to be named.

JP insiders said party high-ups were unhappy as the AL did not step in to settle the issue as the last date for filing nomination papers would end on November 28.

Contacted, Rashed Khan Menon, president of Workers Party of Bangladesh, a component in the AL-led 14-party alliance, said, ”The deadline for submitting nomination papers ends in five days. But we are yet to be informed how many seats we will get to contest the polls”.

JSD General Secretary Shirin Akhtar said it would be difficult for them to complete relevant procedures if the AL delayed informing them about the issue.

Menon said they already had several “informal” meetings with AL leaders Obaidul Quader and Mohammed Nasim. However, they did not reach any final decision.

“We are waiting for a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina so that we get a conclusive decision in this regard,” he said.

Menon, whose party currently has six MPs, added that they demanded 10 seats.

A top leader of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, another partner in the 14-party alliance, said they too had “informal” discussions with AL leaders. “The leaders could not tell us how many seats will be given to us as the prime minister is dealing with the matter”.

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