The party says alliance partners will not be allotted more than 70 seats
The ruling Awami League is yet to resolve its seat-sharing issue with its poll-time alliance partners to contest the 11th parliamentary election slated for December 30.
To resolve the issue the party’s top brass held a series of meetings with its partners on Saturday at its central office on Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka.
“We are at the last stage of seat-sharing issues and will announce a final decision on Sunday or Monday,” Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader told reporters after the meetings.
However, sources from the Awami League parliamentary board told the Dhaka Tribune that the party has planned to declare its candidate list along with alliance partners on Sunday but it may be deferred by one day.
The Awami League parliamentary board, headed by party president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is responsible for evaluating, assessing, and finalizing candidates from over 4,023 nomination seekers.
Sources inside the parliamentary board said the party has already selected 232 party candidates, and is currently in the process of finalizing the list of candidates from its alliance partners.
Awami League Presidium Member Faruk Khan, also a member of the party’s parliamentary board, said: “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has finalized the list of Awami League candidates. We have reached a consensus with our alliance partners on allocating seats as well.”
Seat distribution with allies
In the 10th parliamentary election, held on January 5, 2014, Awami League allotted more seats for allies as its arch-political rival BNP had boycotted the election.
But this time, BNP and anti-Awami League political parties are going to put strong candidates against those of Awami League and its allies. So it is clear that this time Awami League will allot fewer seats for alliance partners than it gave in 2014.
After the meeting with 14-party alliance partners and Jatiya Party, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said they will not allot more than 70 seats for alliance partners.
“Alliance partners, including the 14-party alliance, Jatiya Party, Jukta Front, and Islamic Democratic Alliance, will not get more than 70 seats this time,” said Quader.
Quader sat with its 14-party alliance partners, including the Workers Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, and Jatiya Party.
However, Jatiya Party Secretary General Ruhul Amin Howlader said they are hopeful of getting as many seats as they had sought.
But it thinks that HM Ershad’s Jatiya Party (JaPa) is likely to be hit the hardest in this new equation, and Awami League’s new allies, Jukta Front and certain religion-based parties are set to gain.
According to sources from Awami League top brass, the Awami League is trying to convince its alliance to allot 40 seats to Jatiya Party (JaPa), 20 to the 14-party allies, two to AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury’s Jukta Front, and 5 to the religion-based parties.
However, JaPa had asked for 80 seats.
At present, JaPa has 34 MPs while Bangladesh Nationalist Front has one, and 14-party alliance partners have 25 members in parliament.