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Bangladesh's new parliament sworn in
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08:28, January 04, 2009

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A majority of newly-elected members of Bangladesh's ninth parliament were sworn in here on Saturday afternoon while the left ones of the 300-member parliament will take oath on Sunday.

Outgoing Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar administered the oath at the "oath hall" in Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (parliament complex) here to some 260 new MPs belonging to the grand alliance led by major party Awami League (AL), the winner of the country's ninth parliamentary elections held on Monday.

"I hope the parliament will be effective," said Jamiruddin Sircar before he administered the oath to the MPs-elected in three batches.

In their oath, the parliament members pledged to discharge their duties "lawfully and faithfully."

"We'll not allow our duties to be influenced by personal interests," they swore on oath, following Sircar.

AL, led by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, won a landslide victory in the national polls bagging 230 parliament seats, more than enough to form a new government, while AL-led 15-party grand alliance as a whole got 262 seats.

Polls for 299 seats out of all 300 parliament seats were held on Monday while polls for the left one seat were postponed to Jan.12 after one candidates died in a home fire early last month.

The other major party, the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia, got 29 seats in the parliamentary elections while BNP-led 4-party alliance as a whole got 32 seats.

Out of the 299 seats, a small party, the Liberal Democratic Party, got one seat while independent contestants shared other four seats.

The newly elected parliament members of the BNP, other small parties and independent ones are expected to take oath on Sunday afternoon, officials of the parliament secretariat said.

Meanwhile, after taking oath, MPs-elected of the Awami League, the majority party in the new parliament, are expected to elect the Leader of the House (parliament) in a meeting later on Saturday, according to party sources.

Awami League's chairperson Sheikh Hasina obviously will be elected as the Leader of the House.

As per rules, Hasina after being elected as the Leader of the House will request the President Iajuddin Ahmed to swear-in her new cabinet.

Secretary General of Awami League Abdul Jalil told Xinhua on Saturday the new cabinet members of the new government are scheduled to be sworn in on Tuesday.

Bangladesh's 8th parliament was dissolved in October 2006 after 5 years' ruling of the BNP-led 4-party government.

The ninth parliamentary elections were originally scheduled on Jan. 22, 2007, but were later postponed following violent disputes between BNP and AL over the electoral issues.

The current caretaker government has been in power in the last two years.


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