As polarisation has peaked ahead of the election centring the two main camps led by the Awami League and the BNP, electoral logos of both have drawn an equal number of registered political parties. Eleven parties want to fight the polls with the Awami League’s boat symbol while as many have sought the BNP’s paddy sheaf.
This is the first time in Bangladesh so many parties have gathered under the umbrellas of the two camps.
The Election Commission has released the list of the 39 parties with the logos they want after screening their applications.
The Jatiya Party, which is the main opposition in parliament now, wants to contest in the election under the Awami League-led Grand Alliance, but with its own plough logo. Two others have also applied for plough.
The 14 other parties want to battle for the Dec 30 ballot with their own symbols.
The unregistered parties are barred from the election but their candidates can contest, if nominated by a registered party.
The Election Commission will consider them as the member of the registered party, according to EC Deputy Secretary Abdul Halim Khan.
Halim said the EC has written to the registered parties asking for the names, posts and samples of signature of the people they select as attesters.
The parties will have to respond before the deadline for nomination ends on Dec 9.
The move aims to prevent confusion over nominations by a party in case of internal rifts, the deputy secretary said.
Small political parties have been making big efforts to form political alliances ahead of the election. But, according to data, political alliances formed may seem to strengthen the larger parties, but they do not influence the number of votes in the election.
Most of the times political parties negotiate how electoral constituencies are divided up when they forge an alliance. However, in the end, only a few political parties get seats and most of the smaller parties draw in a negligible number of votes.
Bigger parties reach out to small ones to widen their alliance before elections, according to political analysts. They attempt to impress voters with the number of small political parties in the coalition irrespective of their registration or their leaders and activists.