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Registration brings down number of parties eligible for JS polls

Tuesday November 25 2008 01:28:46 AM BDT

The Election Commission on Sunday wrapped up registration of political parties declaring 39 parties eligible for the stalled ninth parliamentary elections, showing a sharp fall in the number of participants from the previous four elections since 1991.(The Newage)

The number of parties is less than the previous elections because of their registration, sources in EC said, adding many unfamiliar and ‘letterhead-based’ political parties would become active before general elections or during political instabilities in the past.

A total of 107 political parties had applied for registration to the EC, which turned down applications of 68. Thirteen of the 68 parties requested for reviewing their applications, but the EC declined to do so before the ninth parliamentary polls, scheduled for December 29.

The 39 parties that get registered with the EC are Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Party-JP, led by Anwar Hossain Manju, Bangladesh Jatiya Party-BJP, led by Andalib Rahman, Bangladesh Jatiya Party, led by MA Matin, Liberal Democratic Party, Bangladesh Samyabadi Dal (ML), Krishak Sramik Janata League, Ganatantri Party, Bangladesh National Awami Party, Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Jasad), led by Hasanul Huq Inu, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal—JSD, led by Nur-e-Alam Ziku, Zaker Party, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal, Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon, Bangladesh Muslim League, National Peoples Party, Jamiyote Ulamaye Islam Bangladesh, Gono Forum, Gono Front, Progotishil Ganatantrik Dal, Bangladesh National Awami Party-Bangladesh NAP, Oikyaboddho Nagorik Andolon, Islami Front Bangladesh, Bangladesh Kalyan Party, Islami Oikya Jote, Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish, Islami Andolon Bangladesh, Bangladesh Islami Front, Jatiya Ganatantrik Party, Bangladesher Biplobi Workers Party, Khelafat Majlish, led by Mohammad Ishak, and Freedom Party.

Fourteen political parties participated in the 1973 parliamentary polls and all the parties got registered this time. The number rose to 28 in 1986, 75 in the 1991 general elections, 41 in the controversial February 1996 polls, 81 in the June 1996 elections and 54 parties has contested in the 2001 polls.

In the 1991 parliamentary polls, 90 political parties were allocated election symbols and 75 of them nominated candidates. In the last general elections held on October 1, 2001, the number of parties winning symbols rose to 94 and of them 54 parties and alliances participated in the polls.

Parties that exist only on papers never won any seat in parliamentary elections and it has been reported many times that these parties often sell their polling agents to major political parties during elections.

An analysis of the results of three general elections held in 1991, (June) 1996 and 2001 shows a gloomy picture of the strength of smaller political parties. They polled less than four per cent of votes cast in the last general elections against the percentage of votes cast for four leading parties –Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and Jamaat-e-Islami.

In the 1996 polls, only three parties (AL, BNP and Jamaat) fielded candidates in all the 300 parliamentary constituencies while JP nominated 293 candidates. None but three of the remaining 115 parties who were allocated election symbols fielded candidates for even one-third of the constituencies.

Number of candidates of most of the parties, excepting for the four major ones, in the previous elections were between 3 and 19.

A total of 2,574 candidates had participated in the June 1996 general elections and 1,730 of them, mostly belonging to small political parties, lost deposits. The percentage of the candidates losing deposit was 69.32.

A total of 1,939 candidates of 54 political parties took part in the October 2001 general elections and 1,259, mostly smaller party candidates, lost deposits. The percentage of the candidates losing deposit was 64.93.


The Newage

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