Direct election to 100 reserved JS seats | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 13, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 13, 2009

Direct election to 100 reserved JS seats

Govt details plan for 10th parliament

The number of seats in parliament will be increased to 400 from present 345 keeping 100 reserved seats for women to be elected directly.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam disclosed it to The Daily Star yesterday outlining the AL-led government's plan to ensure women empowerment in line with its electoral pledge.
Ashraful, also AL spokesperson, said the constitution will be amended so that the 10th parliamentary election slated for 2014 can be held under the new system.
Asked about his party's stance on the issue of increasing the number of reserved seats for women in parliament, Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farroque said BNP will make the right decision when the government places the bill in the House for amending the constitution.
Each of the 100 reserved seats will be constituted with the territories of three general seats. Women candidates will also be able to contest the elections to the 300 general seats.
The same system has already been introduced in local government institutions -- city corporations, municipalities and union parishads -- keeping one third of the total number of wards reserved for women in addition to general wards.
"This is the last indirect election to reserved seats for women in parliament," said Ashraful at the Election Commission Secretariat while his party nominees were filing applications to contest the election to reserved seats.
Of the 45 reserved seats, 36 have been allocated for AL, five for BNP and four for Jatiya Party (JP) as per their strength in parliament.
Reserved seats for women had been increased to 45 from previous 30 during the tenure of previous BNP-led alliance government.
When asked about the seating arrangement for 345 lawmakers in the House, the LGRD minister said it will be restructured to accommodate the increased seats.
Parliament secretariat officials said the VIP gallery located on the left of the speaker's podium has to be demolished to accommodate the increased seats in parliament.
Nominees of the three parties had submitted applications seeking candidacy in the election scheduled for March 30.
The returning officer (RO) will scrutinise the applications on March 15.
The RO has already asked the parliament secretariat to send an official with samples of the signatures of the lawmakers who proposed and seconded the applications.
Although the election is slated for March 30, the RO is likely to announce the names of candidates elected uncontested after 2:00pm on March 19, the deadline for withdrawal of candidature.
The would-be lawmakers of the reserved seats are expected to join the current parliament session starting from March 15 and likely to continue for another two weeks.
THE WOULD-BE LAWMAKERS
Ashrafunnesa Mosharaf, Jahanara Begum, Shahida Tareq Dipti, Shafia Khatun, and Asma Zerin from Dhaka, Mamtaz Begum of Manikganj, Tarana Hailm of Tangail, Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, Faridun Nahar Laily and Rubi Rahman of Noakhali, Jobeda Khatun Parul and Amena Ahmed of Comilla, Chemon Ara Taiyeb of Chittagong, Ethin Rakhain of Cox's Bazar, Farida Rahman of Narail, Nur Afroz Ali, Nurjahan Begum of Jhenidah, Hamida Banu Shova of Nilphamari, Sultana Bulbul of Dinajpur, Saleha Mosharaf of Faridpur, Rawshan Jahan Sathi, Zebunnessa Haque of Sylhet, Tahura Ali of Jamalpur, Shahin Manoara Haque of Naogaon, Nazma Akhtar of Bagerhat, Apu Ukil of Netrakona, Mahfuza Rahman Rina of Joypurhat, Sadhana Halder of Pirojpur, Prof Zinnatunnesa Talukder of Rajshahi, Khadiza Khatun Shefali of Bogra, Shefali Mamtaz of Natore, Shawkat Ara Begum of Chapainawabganj, Farida Akhtar Hira of Panchagarh, Ahmed Nazmin Sultana of Kurigram, Mamtaz Begum of Munshiganj and Parvin Talukder Maya of Barisal submitted applications as AL nominees.
Rasheda Begum Hira, Shammi Akhtar, Rehana Akhtar Ranu, Asifa Ashrafi Papiya and Nilufar Chowdhury Moni submitted applications from BNP.
Mahzabin Morshed, Salma Islam, Nasrin Jahan Ratna and Nur-e-Hasna Lily Chowdhury and Merina Rahman submitted applications as JP nominees.
If one of the five JP nominees does not quit the electoral race within the deadline, election will be held among the five contenders for four seats where only Jatiya Party lawmakers will be allowed to cast votes, said EC Secretariat officials.

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