The government on Tuesday placed the ‘Constitution (Seventeenth Amendment) Bill 2018’ before parliament aimed at increasing the timeframe to keep 50 seats reserved for women to 25 years from the first session of the eleventh parliament.
Law minister Anisul Huq placed the bill before the house with speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
The house later sent the bill to the concerned parliamentary standing committee asking it to report back within 30 days.
According to the Article 65 (3) of the constitution, 50 seats would be reserved exclusively for women in parliament for 10 years from the first meeting of parliament after the one that passed the 14th constitutional amendment in 2004.
Accordingly, the first meeting of a new parliament in 2009, which meant the seats for women, will expire next year in line with the existing article.
The incumbent 10th parliament has 350 members — 300 elected in general elections and 50 MPs from seats reserved for women.
In 2004, the government brought the 14th Amendment to the constitution to introduce the reserved seats and distribute them among the parties with proportionate representation.
The number of reserved seats was increased from 45 to 50 through the 15th constitutional amendment in 2011, but the amendment did not extend the term of the quota.
The nineteenth session, the first session of 2018, of the 10th parliament was prorogued on February 28 unanimously adopting the thanksgiving motion of the president’s speech and passing some 15 bills.
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