DHAKA: The newly elected members of Bangladesh’s parliament have taken the oath of office amid an opposition boycott following the Dec. 30 parliamentary election.
Bangladesh’s Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury swore in the lawmakers including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a ceremony in capital Dhaka on Thursday.
The MPs from ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led major opposition alliance skipped the oath-taking ceremony.
According to the Election Commission Gazette, Awami League (AL) led by Hasina won 259 out of 299 seats, more than enough for her party to form a straight third five-year term government since January 2009 after ruling the country in 1996-2001.
Khaleda Zia’s major opposition party BNP which suffered the most lopsided loss in its political history since 1978 won five seats.
BNP was ruling party in Bangladesh for two terms — 1991-1996 and 2001-2006 — since the country’s return to democracy in 1991. AL’s key ally in the elections Jatiya Party won 20 seats while BNP’s ally Gono Forum managed only two seats. BNP rejected the election results, alleging various irregularities.