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Awami League under pressure to share more seats with allies

  • Published at 09:27 pm November 30th, 2018
Awami League chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leads her party's side during a dialogue with Jatiya Party-led Sammilito Jatiya Jote at Ganabhaban in Dhaka on Monday, November 5, 2018 Focus Bangla

According to sources, the Awami League-led alliance is likely to offer 36 seats to Jatiya Party, although no official announcement has yet been made and negotiations are ongoing

The Awami League is facing mounting pressure to share more seats with its alliance partners ahead of the upcoming 11th parliamentary election.

A presidium member of Jatiya Party (JaPa) who wished to remain anonymous told the Dhaka Tribune that Awami League has said it will share 69 seats with the members of its 14-Party Alliance.

This figure falls within the “65 to 70 seats” already pledged by Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader. 

However, several senior JaPa leaders have expressed frustration over the seat sharing process. 

At a briefing at the Dhanmandi 3 office of the AL party president Sheikh Hasina on Thursday, Quader said they had asked the Jatiya Party to file nomination papers for 300 seats.

“After negotiation on seat sharing, the final alliance candidates will get Awami League's nomination certificates,” he said.

According to sources, the Awami League-led alliance is likely to offer 36 seats to the HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party although no official announcement has yet been made and negotiations are ongoing.

Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary, the chairperson of another alliance member, Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, said the ruling party has allocated them two seats although they were hoping to get one more.  

The general secretary of Workers Party Bangladesh, Fazle Hossain Badsha, said they were also hoping for a larger share of the spoils after it was promised five seats. 

“We did not get seats according to our demand but we will get at least two more seats,” he said. 

Among the smaller alliance partners, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JaSaD-Inu) is expected to receive three seats, while Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Ambia) and Bikalpa Dhara should each get two. 

Despite the obvious shortfalls, the 14-party alliance leaders denied that they are “pressurizing” the Awami League over the seat-sharing issue.  

A total of 281 Awami League candidates filed nominations in 264 of the total 300 constituencies nationwide before the submission deadline expired on Wednesday.

Election Commission sources said that additionally, 233 candidates have filed nominations from Jatiya Party (JaPa) in 210 seats, while there are 53 candidates from Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JaSaD-Inu) and 37 from Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh.

There were also 20 nominations filed by Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, 17 by Jatiya Party (JP-Manju), 33 by Workers Party of Bangladesh (Menon), and three from Samyabadi Dal.

While the Awami League had originally planned to complete the seat sharing process with its allies before the expiry of the deadline for filing nomination papers, the party later changed its stance. 

Now, the ruling party says it will only finalize the seat allocations by the final December 9 deadline for the withdrawal of candidates.

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