Bangladesh swears in 12th national parliament

Newly-elected parliamentarians from 298 seats take their oaths of office

Published : 10 Jan 2024, 05:14 AM
Updated : 10 Jan 2024, 05:14 AM

Members of the newly-elected 12th national parliament have pledged to uphold the law and put the nation's interests above their own as they took their oaths of office.

The swearing-in ceremony was held at the National Assembly at 10 am on Wednesday.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhary, the winner of the Rangpur-6 seat, was the first parliamentarian to take the oath.

She then administered the oath to the other lawmakers, including Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina who is set to embark on a historic fourth successive term as the head of government.

Voting was held in 299 of 300 parliamentary seats on Sunday. The outcome of a parliamentary race in Mymensingh was held up due to the suspension of results at one voting centre. The High Court suspended the results of the Dhaka-4 parliamentary race on Tuesday after the Awami League candidate for the seat made allegations of irregularities.

The other newly-elected parliamentarians were sworn in on Wednesday.

The Awami League secured an absolute majority as its candidates won 222 of 299 seats in the national election.

Independent candidates, almost all of whom are Awami League leaders, won the second highest number of seats with 62.

The Jatiya Party, the official opposition in the last two parliaments, won only 11 seats, losing over half of the 26 seats the Awami League had ceded to them in a seat-sharing deal.

Two members of the 14-Party Alliance -- the Workers Party and JaSaD -- won one seat each. The Kalyan Party, once in an alliance with the BNP, took one seat.

The shock victories scored by independents have raised questions about the composition and role of the opposition in parliament.

Meanwhile, the largest opposition group BNP boycotted the vote as it pressed ahead with its demand for elections under a caretaker administration.

The MPs for the Jatiya Party were sworn in after 12 pm, following the oath-taking by the independents.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury read out the oath. The 11 parliamentarians from the Jatiya Party, including GM Quader, flanked by Anisul Islam Mahmud and Md Mujibul Haque on his right and Salim Osman on his left, then took theirs.

“I do solemnly swear (or solemnly declare) that I will lawfully and faithfully perform the duties which I am about to undertake; I will have genuine faith and loyalty to Bangladesh; and shall not allow personal interests to influence the performance of my duties as a Member of Parliament,” they read.

Afterwards, they signed the oaths by writing the names of their parliamentary seats, according to tradition.