Jatiya Party’s Ershad to lead main opposition in parliament

| Updated: January 20, 2019 21:43:36

File Photo (Collected) File Photo (Collected)

The Jatiya Party has decided to form the main opposition in parliament with Chairman HM Ershad as the leader of the group. 

The party’s newly-elected MPs will not join the government’s new cabinet, Ershad said in a statement on Friday.

“I am requesting the honourable speaker of parliament to take necessary steps on this matter,” he said.

After the Awami League, its ally Jatiya Party won the second largest number of seats following the general election on Sunday. The party has 22 seats in parliament next to Awami League's 257.   

Ershad nominated himself as chief of the opposition bloc “in line with his highest position within the party”, said the statement.

His younger brother and party co-chairman GM Quader has been chosen as deputy leader of the opposition.

Ershad's statement however leaves out any mention of his wife Raushon Ershad, who was leader of the opposition in the previous parliament.

Despite being in the main opposition, three Jatiya Party MPs were then given spots in the cabinet. Jatiya Party for long has been termed by critics as the ‘domesticated opposition party’.

But Ershad’s statement on Friday makes clear that none of the MPs who won in 11th general election will seek entry into the cabinet, bdnews24.com reported.

The new cabinet will be sworn in on Monday. The Awami League, which heads the Grand Alliance, will be forming the government for its third-consecutive term in power.

On Thursday morning, newly-elected MPs were sworn in to office but Ershad, who won his hometown seat at Rangpur-3, was not seen in the premises.

A deposed military ruler, Ershad had been largely absent from public view during the election and spent several days in Singapore due to his “ill health”.

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