Dhaka, Bangladesh
AL takes 230, leaves 70 for allies

Little surprises, few changes

AL takes 230, leaves 70 for allies

Complete coalition nominations today

News Report An anxious wait of several thousand aspirants for coveted ruling-party ticket ends with the Awami League handing candidacy letters to 230, leaving 70 of the parliament seats to be contested by its allies. The distribution of party nominations took place Sunday, dropping out some known faces and incumbent MPs, including Jahangir Kabir Nanak of Dhaka, and pooling in some new ones. A complete list of candidates from the Awami League and its allies in the Grand Alliance and the 14-party alliance will be unveiled today, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said. The names of 300 nominees for contesting the eleventh election to as many seats of parliament will be announced today at 3:30pm. On the other side of the political divide, nominations from the newly-floated BNP-dominated Jatiya Oikya Front may be unveiled by Wednesday, BNP secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said Sunday, as they continued a meticulous vetting of the preliminarily picked choices who are coming from diverse parties, groups and individuals. While talking to the press at the nomination-letter-delivery session, Quader exuded high hopes for their triumph while underrating challenge from the neo foe in the battle of ballots. "Their defeat is only a matter of declaration," said Quader, the road transport and bridges minister, who stands again from his Noakhali-5 constituency. He berated JOF lashing of rules, regulations and institutions involved with the election, rated crucial by any measure as the boycotting BNP and allies are joining it now, and also their foretelling of victory. "If they were sure of win, they wouldn't be so loud in invective," he said. BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul had a remote retort: "If we can stay united, and if the government and the election commission do not stand as barriers, Oikya Front victory is sure." During the 9th parliamentary election after the 1/11, 2007 episode, the Awami League-led 14-Party Alliance got allied with the Jatiya Party of former military ruler HM Ershad in a grand alliance. A total of 264 Awami League candidates had run the race and Jatiya Party candidates in 49 seats. The Awami League had won 230 seats, while the Jatiya Party 27, reports said. The AL had fielded 247 candidates in the 10th parliamentary elections, which had been boycotted by the BNP amid a serious political crisis that bred outbreaks of violence. The Jatiya Party had run separately and put up 86 candidates. The Awami League had booked 234 seats and the JP 34. As per the schedule, the 11th parliamentary elections will be held on December 30. Candidates can submit their nomination papers until Dec 28. Scrutiny by the Election Commission takes place on Dec 2. Candidates will have until Dec 9 to withdraw. Who stands where: (List available from agencies)

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