Lowest number of parties in parliament, none from 23 parties

The Jatiya Sangsad building
File photo

In the fifth national parliament, formed in 1991, after democracy replaced autocracy, there was representation of 13 parties. After that, apart from the sixth parliament, every other parliament had representation from six to nine parties. But this time no candidate from 23 parties out of 28 could win a single seat in the twelfth parliament election. As a result, there will be representation of just five parties in the twelfth parliament.

According to the Election Commission figures, 28 out of 44 registered political parties participated in the twelfth parliamentary elections. Various parties including BNP and parties in the simultaneous movement, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Islami Andolan Bangladesh boycotted the election.

According to the unofficial results of the twelfth parliamentary elections, Awami League won 223 out of 299 seats. Independent candidates won the most after the incumbents, 62 seats. The main opposition party in the current parliament, Jatiya Party won 11 seats.

Bangladesh Workers’ Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) and Bangladesh Kalyan Party got one seat apiece.

In the twelfth parliament, Awami League is going to form the government after getting absolute majority for the fourth consecutive time.

According to analysts, the government was trying to increase the number of parties in the polls to make the elections appear more participatory. But most of these parties have no public support. According to the results of past elections, most of the parties participating this time have never been represented in parliament.

According to the unofficial results, out of the 28 parties that participated in the elections, 23 of them failed to win even a single seat. Except for one or two candidates of these parties, the rest are likely to even forego their secuity deposit.

In the last three parliamentary elections, the main opposition party in parliament, Jatiya Party, got between 5 and 7 percent of the votes by making a liaison with Awami League. In these three elections, in the constituencies where the Jatiya Party contested without an agreement with the Awami League, about 86 percent of their candidates lost their security money. Apart from this, all the other parties participating in the polls got a negligible percentage of votes.

Many candidates but vote fiasco

Awami League and Jatiya Party had the greatest number of candidates in this election. Then the third highest 135 candidates were from the newly registered party Trinomool BNP (golden fibre symbol). The fourth highest number of 122 candidates was from the National People's Party (mango symbol).

Among the other parties, there were 96 candidates of Bangladesh Congress, 79 of Bangladesh Supreme Party, 66 of Jasad, 63 of Bangladesh Cultural Liberation Movement and 56 from Bangladesh Nationalist Movement (BNM).

None of the candidates of these parties could win the election. The unofficially declared results show that the candidates of these parties could not even create a minimum competition, some of them being defeated by a large margin. Almost all candidates of parties that do not win any seats may have to forfeit their securities. Many candidates of these parties got less than 100 votes.

Representation of parties drop

After the 90’s mass uprising, the fifth parliament election was held on 27 February 1991. As many as 75 parties took part in the election. There were 2,787 candidates in the election. There was representation of 13 parties in the parliament.

BNP won 140 seats in the fifth parliamentary elections. Awami League 88, Jatiya Party (Japa) 35, Jamaat-e-Islami 18, CPB 5, Bakshal 5, Jasad (Siraj) 1, Islami Oikya Jote 1, Workers’ Party 1, NDP 1, Gonotontri Party 1, NAP (Muzaffar) 1 and other parties got three seats. The voter turnout was 55.45 percent. After the election, BNP formed the government with the support of Jamaat-e-Islami.

The sixth parliamentary election was held on 15 February, 1996 under the BNP regime in the name of ‘constitutional obligation.’ This parliament lasted only 11 days.

After that, facing the opposition parties’ demand, the caretaker government was adopted through the thirteenth amendment of the constitution. The seventh national election was held on 12 June 1996. As many as 81 political parties took part in the election as there were 2,574 candidates.

Awami League got 146 seats in that election. Six parties were represented in parliament. BNP got 116 seats, Japa 32, Jamaat-e-Islami 3, Islami Oikya Jote 1 and JSD (Rab) 1 seat. Through this election Awami League formed the government again after 21 years.

As many as 54 parties participated in the 8th National Parliament election held in 2001. There were 1 thousand 939 candidates.

BNP won 193 seats in the polls. Awami League 62, Jamaat-e-Islami 14, JAPA 14, BJP 4, JP (Manju) 1, Islami Oikya Jote 2, Krishak Sramik Janata League 1 and independent candidates got 6 seats. A four-party coalition led by the BNP formed the government.

As many as 38 parties participated in the 8th national parliament election held in 2008. There were 1,567 candidates. Awami League got absolute majority by getting 230 seats. BNP won 30, JaPa 27, Jasad 3, Workers Party 2, Jamaat-e-Islami 2, Liberal Democratic Party 1, BJP 1 and independent candidates won 1 seat.

Tenth parliamentary elections were held in 2014 under the partisan government. 28 registered parties including BNP boycotted this election. Only 12 parties participated in the elections.

Awami League got absolute majority by getting 234 seats. JPA got 34, Workers Party 6, Jasad 5, Bangladesh Tarikat Federation 2, JP 2 and Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF) 1 seat. Voter turnout was 40.04 percent.

The 11th parliamentary election was held in 2018. There were widespread suspicions about the election.

Awami League got absolute majority by getting 258 seats. BNP got 6 seats. JAPA 22, Workers’ Party 3, Gonoforum 2, Jasad 2, Bikalpadhaka Bangladesh 2, Bangladesh Tarikat Federation 1, JP 1 and independent candidates got 3 seats. 9 parties were represented in the last parliament.