Parliament passes 17th amendment to extend reserve seats for women for 25 years

The government has passed the 17th amendment to the constitution, maintaining reserve seats for women in parliament for another 25 years.

Published : 9 July 2018, 06:47 AM
Updated : 9 July 2018, 06:47 AM

The process to pass the amendment began after the ‘Constitution (Seventeenth Amendment) Act- 2018’ was presented in parliament on Sunday. Law Minister Anisul Huq has presented the bill.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, opposition party leader Rowshan Ershad and Jatiya Party chief Hussain Muhammad Ershad were present in parliament during the session.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury had previously presided over the discussion on the policy after scrutinising public opinion and later recommended the proposal be sent to the standing committee on the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for scrutiny. The committee presented its report to parliament on Jun 6.

The Constitution (17th Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed by 298-0 votes.

The number of reserved seats was increased to 50 through the 15th constitutional amendment in 2011, but the time limit for the reserve seats was not extended.

The incumbent 10th parliament has 350 members: 300 elected in general elections and 50 MPs from seats reserved for women.

Any amendment to the constitution needs a two-third majority of votes from the parliamentarians. The ruling Awami League has 232 votes.

The previous amendment to the constitution was adopted in 2016, restoring the power to remove High Court judges to parliament. Later, the Supreme Court declared the amendment illegal in a verdict. The government has appealed for a review of the verdict.