17th amendment of constitution goes to parliament today

Published: April 10, 2018 13:44:36 | Updated: April 10, 2018 18:09:42

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The 17th Amendment to the constitution, which would maintain the reserve seats for women in parliament for another 25 years, will be presented in parliament Tuesday.

Law Minister Anisul Huq will present the proposed ‘Constitution (17th Amendment) Bill -2018’ during the session today.

Once approved by parliament, the bill will be sent to the Standing Committee on Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for scrutiny, reports bdnews24.

The provision introducing the reserved seats will expire on Jan 24 next year, which means the constitution has to be changed before that time to keep the seats.

According to the Article 65 (3), 50 seats would be reserved exclusively for women in parliament for the next 10 years from the first meeting of the parliament after the one in existence at the time of the commencement of the 14th constitutional amendment in 2004.

The parliament mentioned in the article sat for the first time in 2009, which means the seats for women will expire next year in line with the existing article.

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

In 2004, the government brought the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to introduce the reserved seats and distribute those among the parties with representation in parliament in proportionate numbers. 

 The number of reserved seats was 45 at the time and it was increased to 50 through the 15th constitutional amendment in 2011, but the time was not extended.

Now, after getting the cabinet’s endorsement in principle and then the final approval, it will be sent to parliament as a bill for passage.

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