Polls schedules for JS reserved seats on Feb 17: EC Secy

105

Dhaka, Jan 14: The Election Commission (EC) will announce election schedules on February 17 for 50 reserved seats of the 11th parliament exclusively for women.EC Secretary Helaluddin on Monday disclosed it while briefing reporters after a meeting of the Election Commission at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city.

“The polls schedules for the reserved seats will be announced on February 17,” he said.

He said the meeting also decided to start the 5th countrywide upazila election in the first week of March and use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in all sadar upazila parishads.

The schedule for the 5th countrywide upazila will be announced in the first week of February, said the EC Secretary adding that the upazila elections will be held in phases.

Ahead of the election to the reserved seats, Awami League is going to start selling nomination forms among aspirants on Tuesday (Jan 15).

The aspirants will have to collect the nomination forms from the AL president’s Dhanmondi political office in the city from Tuesday 10:00 am, said an AL media release on Saturday.

According to the proportional representation in Parliament, Awami League will get women MPs from 43 reserved seats, Jatiya Party from 4 seats, BNP from one, and other parties and the coalition of independent MPs will get the remaining two seats.

Out of the 300 parliamentary constituencies across the country, Awami League won elections in 257, while Jatiya Party in 22, BNP in six, Workers’ Party in three, Gano Forum, Jasod and Bikalpadhara in two seats each, Tarikat Federation and JP in one seat each in the recent 11th general election.

Besides, independent candidates were elected in three constituencies in the polls held on December 30 last.

The remaining one constituency will go to polls on January 27, as the election was postponed there earlier following the death of a candidate.

The Election Commission has a legal obligation to arrange the polls to the 50 reserved seats within 90 days after the gazette of general election result is published.

The directly-elected members of parliament are the voters of the election.

If the number of nominated candidates by a political party is equal to its reserved seats, the contenders will be declared elected unopposed immediately after the last date for withdrawal of candidacy.

However, eight MPs-elect of Jatiya Oikyafront –- six from BNP and two from Gano Forum — have not taken oath of office as MPs.