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17TH Amendment to Bangladesh’s Constitution Passed

The Parliament of Bangladesh on 8th July 2018 amended Bangladesh's Constitution and paved way for 17th amendment to the constitution. The parliament today unanimously passed the 17th amendment to the constitution which increases the tenure of 50 lawmakers who are elected in the women reserved seat to 25 years. The Bill was passed in the House by 298-0 vote as the speaker put it in the division vote.

Law Minister Anisul Huq placed the bill to keep the provision for securing the reserve seats for the women in the parliament with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. If the amendment was not brought, the next parliament would have no women in reserved seats. The bill was placed in the parliament on April 10 and it was sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny.

Nine lawmakers belonging to the main opposition Jatiya Party and Independent camp placed motions for inclusion of some provisions in the bill which were rejected in voice vote (295-0). The JP and independent MPs who termed some provisions of the bill unconstitutional and argued for increasing the time for 10 years instead of 25 years voted against their proposals during division vote.

According to the Article 65 (3) of the constitution, 50 seats would be reserved exclusively for women in the parliament for 10 years from the first meeting of parliament after the one that passed the 14th constitutional amendment in 2004.

As per the constitution, the parliament shall consist of 300 members to be elected directly and 50 reserved seats for women to be allotted to parties based on their proportional representation in the House.

The incumbent 10th parliament has 350 members - 300 elected in general elections and 50 lawmakers from reserved seat for women. But the exiting 10-year tenure of the reserved seats is going to end on January 24, 2019. According to the draft bill, the 25-year period of the reserved seats will be counted from the first day of the 11th parliament.

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Bangladesh's Parliament Passes New Law for Migrant Workers

The Parliament of Bangladesh on 9th July passed the Wage Earners' Welfare Board Bill, 2018, aimed at ensuring welfare for migrant workers abroad and their family members living in the country. Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc placed the bill in the House, which was passed by voice votes with Deputy Speaker Fazley Rabbi Mia in the chair.

The minister said the proposed bill would incorporate the issues which are missing from the Overseas Employment and Migrant Act 2013. He also said returnee migrants facing distress on return to Bangladesh would be entitled to get loans on soft terms from the Wage Earners' Welfare Board (WEEB).

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11 July 2018
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