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What is the opposition party?

by Afonso
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There is still confusion about who will be the main opposition party in the 12th National Parliament. In the meantime, Jatiya Party has sent a letter to the Speaker from the opposition party. On the other hand, independent MPs have yet to form a coalition. They did not inform the speaker about this.

Many of the leaders of the ruling party Awami League think that the Jatiya Party may eventually become the main opposition party as the independent parliamentarians failed to form a coalition.

Awami League led by Sheikh Hasina formed the government for the fourth time in a row after winning the elections on January 7. Awami League got 222 seats out of 299 seats in this election. Bangladesh Workers Party and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal) which came in alliance with Awami League got one seat each. And Bangladesh Kalyan Party got 1 seat.

In contrast, Jatiya Party has only 11 seats. And independents got 62 seats. No previous election in the history of the country has seen such a large number of independent candidates winning the elections. In the meantime, the newly elected parliamentarians have taken oath. The first session of the twelfth parliament will be held on January 30 with the newly elected parliamentarians.

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina took oath as Prime Minister for the 5th time on January 11. 36 members of the new cabinet took oath on this day. However, many discussions are still going on about who will sit in the seat of the main opposition party or who will be the leader of the opposition party.

Meanwhile, Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader said that they have written a letter to the Speaker from the opposition party about 11 MPs.

The Jatiya Party Chairman said, ‘The decision of the Jatiya Party’s parliamentary party has taken a resolution proposing the name of Mujibul Haque Chunnu as the leader and Anisul Haque Mahmud Sahib as the deputy leader and chief whip.’

However, the 62 MPs elected as independents have not yet formed any coalition. Awami League leaders think that Jatiya Party is the opposition party in such a reality.

Awami League Presidium Member and Livestock Minister Abdur Rahman said, ‘Jatiya Party as a registered party will remain in the role of the opposition party no matter how small in number it is. If it is more than one place in terms of numbers, then it will be the opposition party officially, but the other prerequisites of the opposition party in the parliament are also required. It is important to have them.’

Former Chief Whip and Deputy Agriculture Minister Abdus Shaheed said, “The speaker will decide who will be the opposition party.” I can’t say anything here either because there is a parliamentary leader.’

At least 58 of the 62 independent parliamentarians are Awami League leaders. They want to stay in the Awami League rather than forming an alliance and joining the opposition. Legal experts also say that there is no alternative to form a coalition of independent parliamentarians to become an opposition party.

Legal expert barrister Tanjeeb ul Alam said, ‘If the Speaker once decides that the National Party will be the opposition party, even if the independent electors form a group which is more than their number… whenever they write to us, to count us as the opposition party. Applying because our members are now more than those in opposition. But then the Speaker will have no other option.’

Meanwhile, most independent members of parliament say that they want to work according to the instructions of Awami League president Sheikh Hasina.


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