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48 women to be MPs unopposed

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Staff reporter
48 women are going to be elected MPs from reserved seats as they have no rival, and no one of them pulled out of the polls race either by Tuesday, the last date for the withdrawal of candidature.
“No one of the 48 female MP candidates from the reserved seats withdrew the candidature. They’ll be declared elected uncontested today (Wednesday),” assistant returning officer Mihir Sarwar Morshed told media.
The gazette of the elected MPs will be published after 4-5 days, said Mihir, also deputy secretary of the Election Commission Secretariat.
However, the commission will require to declare a fresh schedule for election to two more women seats as the candidature of an Awami League-nominated candidate Sabiha Nahar Begum and that of Jatiya Party-nominated Khorshed Ara Hoque have been cancelled on charge of telephone bill default, he said.
Of the 48 candidates, the largest number of 38 has been nominated by the ruling Awami League, while five by HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party, three by a coalition of 16 independent MPs and one each by Workers Party and Jasad.
The AL-nominated candidates are Selina Jahan Lita, Safura Begum, Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, Advocate Umme Kulsum Smriti, Begum Akhter Jahan, Selina Begum, Selina Akhter Banu, Laila Arjuman Banu, Shirin Nayeem, Kamrul Laila Jolly, Happy Boral, Rifat Amin, Nasima Ferdousi, Lutfun Nesa, Momtaz Begum Advocate, Advocate Tarana Halim, Monwara Begum, Mahjabin Khaled, Fatema Zohra Rani, Dilara Begum, Fatematuz Zohura, Fazilatunnesa Indira, Pinu Khan, Sanjida Khanam, Nilufar Jafar Ullah, Rokhsana Yasmin Chhuti, Advocate Navana Akhter, Asmatul Kibria Keya Chowdhury, Shamsun Nahar Begum, Fazilaunnesa Bappy, Wasika Ayesha Khan, Jahanara Begum Surma, Firoza Begum Chinu, Amina Ahmed, Sabina Akhter Tuhin, Rahima Akhter, Advocate Hosne Ara Bably and Kamrun Nahar Chowdhury Lovely.
The Jatiya Party candidates are Nur-e-Hasna Lily Chowdhury, Mahzabin Morshed, Merina Rahman, Rawshan Ara Mannan and Shahanara Begum.
Lutfa Taher, wife of late Col Taher, is from Jasad while Hazera Khatun from Workers Party.
The remaining three candidates - Kazi Rosy, Nurjahan Begum and Umme Razia Kajol -- are from the alliance of independent candidates.
Earlier, the ruling AL submitted a list of 41 aspirants of the AL-led six-party parliamentary alliance comprising Jasad, Workers Party, Tarikat Federation, Monzu-led Jatiya Party and BNF to the returning officer to run the election against the same number of allocated posts.
Six aspirants submitted nomination papers from HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party.
But the returning officer rejected the nominations of Sabiha Nahar and Khorshed Ara Haque on the grounds that the two MP aspirants did not pay their telephone bills at least seven days before the submission of nomination papers.
Later, the Election Commission as the appeal authority rejected their petitions challenging the decision of the returning officer.
Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) owes Sabiha Nahar Tk 11,835 while Khorshed Ara Haque has huge outstanding dues of Tk 223,488 in telephone bill.
Since there is no rival contestant after the deadline for withdrawal of candidature expired on Tuesday, the commission is going to elected them uncontested.
According to rules, the number of reserved seats is allocated among the political parties and the alliance as per the proportion of their representation to parliament.
On February 23, the EC announced the polls schedule for the reserved seats which are exclusively for women fixing the voting for March 29, but the date was later moved to April 3.

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