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Bangladesh’s Parliament goes into session amid opposition boycott

Last Updated: Monday, September 7, 2009 - 13:03

Dhaka: The ninth Parliament of Bangladesh went into its third session on Monday amid opposition boycott over a seating arrangement and renewed call by the Speaker asking ex-premier Khaleda Zia`s BNP to join the house.
"It is good if you raise your demands on the Parliament floor," Abdul Hamid said.

Opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque yesterday told reporters that the BNP`s parliamentary wing would sit shortly to decide if the party should join the session as they were abstaining from the parliamentary proceedings since January demanding more seats in the front row of the house.

The seating arrangement row exposed the Parliament to a difficult state as it was laid out on proportionate basis in terms of party membership in Parliament as suggested by the ruling Awami League of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while BNP demanded more seats for their senior leaders.

The controversy erupted as Hamid changed the seating arrangement laid out by his predecessor Jamiruddin Sircar in the opening session of the house in January this year had given the opposition lawmakers nine seats in the front row and 12 in the second row ignoring a treasury bench proposal.

Awami League, which bagged over three fourths of the 300-seat Parliament, protested the seat plan saying the reservation of all front row seats on the left side of the speaker`s podium for the opposition members sent their several ministers and senior leaders to the back rows.

The session is likely to deal with a number of bills, question-answer sessions and call-attention notices on matters of public importance as President Zillur Rahman summoned it in line with a constitutional obligation for holding the assembly every 60 days, sources said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, September 7, 2009 - 13:03
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