50 BD Parliament seats for women for another 25 yrs

Parliament on Sunday unanimously passed The Constitution (17th Amendment) Bill, 2018, to keep the 50 parliamentary seats reserved exclusively for women for 25 more years.

The Bill was passed by 298-0 vote as the Speaker put it on division vote in the House.

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq moved the bill in the House seeking to keep the provision for securing reserve seats for women in Parliament.

The bill was placed in Parliament on April 10 and sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny.

Nine MPs belonging to the Jatiya Party and Independent camp also placed motions for including some provisions in the bill. All the proposals were rejected in voice vote (295-0) as the ruling AL refused to accept any.

As per the Constitution, Parliament shall consist of 300 members to be elected directly and 50 reserved seats for women to be allotted to parties based on their proportional representation in the House.

Now there are 50 reserved seats in Parliament. But, the exiting 10-year tenure of the reserved seats is going to end.

According to the draft bill, the 25-year period of the reserved seats will be counted from the first day of the 11th parliament.

In 2004, the 8th parliament extended the tenure of the reserved seats by another 10 years through a constitutional amendment and it became effective in the 9th parliament, which sat on January 25, 2009.

The 8th parliament increased the number of reserved seats from 30 to 45 while the 9th parliament enhanced it to 50.