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Dhaka Tribune

Who will be picked for reserved seats?

  • Awami League will get 37 seats
  • Independents to get 10 seats
  • Independents to give their seats to AL
Update : 26 Jan 2024, 11:14 AM

Hundreds of female politicians, including current and former lawmakers, social workers, celebrities, actors, and film stars, are vying for inclusion on the Awami League list of reserved seats for women in the 12th parliament.

The Awami League won in 223 constituencies this time, and therefore, the ruling party will get at least 37 reserved seats in parliament.

There are 62 independent lawmakers, and if they all form a non-party coalition, they will get at least 10 seats. However, the independents, 60 of whom are Awami League leaders, want to give their reserved seats to the party, according to insiders.

The independent MPs have planned to make the announcement when they meet Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban.

According to the Jatiya Sangsad (Reserved Women's Seats) Election Act, the 50 reserved seats are distributed proportionally among the winning parties or coalitions in the general election. Typically, a party or coalition receives one reserved seat for every six seats won.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune on Thursday, an independent MP, who has been elected several times to parliament, said: “Though we have been elected as independent candidates in parliament, we are from the Awami League. It is a big party with so many potential female leaders, and we want to give our reserved seats to the Awami League president. We will request that she decide on our reserved seats in parliament."

The Awami League will nominate almost 48 members of the 50 reserved seats in the first session of parliament, which is scheduled to be held on January 30.

Who are on the list?

Almost every day, potential candidates are trying to meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and some influential leaders of the Awami League to express their desire to be included in parliament through the reserved seats.

However, a highly placed source in Ganabhaban, who is familiar with this update, anonymously told this newspaper that the premier has already made a draft list for the reserved seat MPs.

According to that list, female leaders of the Awami League Central Working Committee, family members of some veteran party leaders who were in parliament with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1973, several celebrities, and current reserved seat MPs are getting priority.

On the other hand, female Awami League leaders who were initially nominated but made to withdraw from the electoral race are also on the list on a priority basis.

The wives of several veteran Awami League leaders, who have passed away, are also on the draft list.

Several Awami League leaders who got nominations but lost in the January 7 election are also lobbying to be included on the list, according to several party high-ups.

Former lawmakers Momtaz Begum, who lost in Manikganj-2; Sanjida Khanam of Dhaka-4; and Meher Afroze Chumki of Gazipur-5, are also trying to have their names included in the reserved seat list.

Awami League International Affairs Secretary Dr Shammi Ahmed, who obtained the party nomination but lost her candidacy owing to holding dual citizenship, is lobbying to go to parliament, according to several sources.

In addition, several top leaders of the Awami League-led 14-Party Alliance are also lobbying for their wives.

Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif on Thursday told Dhaka Tribune: “Those who have political commitment and are able to contribute to parliament will be chosen by our leader Sheikh Hasina.”

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