Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Nomination Paper Submission closes Today - Grand Alliance files nominations

Dhaka,Bangladesh: As the nomination paper submission closes, the battle for ballot between the two major political alliances kicks off today. The candidates of the Awami League (AL)-led grand electoral alliance has decided to file their nominations for the election slated for January 22. Most of the contenders of the BNP-led four-party alliance have already filed nominations. However, none of the alliances has announced the official list of their nominees, as both the sides could not yet reach an understanding over sharing seats for the election. The final lists will not be made public before January 3, the closing date for withdrawing candidature. .

The AL sources claimed that their candidates will submit nominations for 212 constituencies as the party is set to leave 88 seats for its allies. On the other hand, Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad) claims that it has been allocated 50 seats while the LDP maintains that 27 seats have been left for it to contest. Among the partners of the 14-party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) claimed that it has got 6 seats, Gono Forum claimed 2, Workers Party 4, a faction of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) 2 and Khelafat Majlish 2. The BNP has set aside 31 seats for Jamaat-e-Islami, three for the BJP, three for Islami Oikya Jote and one for Anwar Hossain Manju-led Jatiya Party.
Over 9.30 crore voters are supposed to choose their representatives at 300 constituencies

The AL Parliamentary Board, meanwhile, has had the candidates' signatures on withdrawal letters in case the party needs to withdraw the nomination papers to boycott the election, sources said. AL Joint General Secretary Obaidul Quader told journalists yesterday, that they will continue to observe the situation and will decide on our final course of action before the last date for withdrawing candidature."

On the last date, the offices of 68 returning officers (RO) and 536 assistant returning officers (ARO) will be receiving the nomination papers from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The Election Commission (EC) has reserved 150 symbols for the contenders. Of those, 76 were earmarked for as many number of political parties contesting the polls and the rest are for the independent candidates. After the last date for withdrawing candidature that is January 3, the ROs will allocate the symbols among the candidates fielded by the political parties as well as the independent ones.

The official process towards the election to form the ninth parliament began on November 27 with the announcement of election schedule that went on to be changed on several occasions. It will end with gazette notification of the victorious candidates.

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