Both the ruling Awami League and its archrival BNP are likely to unveil today their final lists of parliamentary candidates, leaving out seats for their alliance partners.The AL may declare the names of candidates for around 250 out of the 300 constituencies and leave the rest for its partners, including the Jatiya Party.
The ruling party has now 278 candidates in 264 constituencies.
Speaking at a discussion in the capital yesterday, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said, “Negotiations with alliance partners have been completed. The party nominees will get final letters from tomorrow [Friday].”
AL Presidium Member Mohammed Nasim, also the coordinator of the AL-led 14 party alliance, said the list of candidates in 300 seats may be disclosed today.
“The components of the 14-party alliance may get 13 to 14 seats,” he told The Daily Star last night.
AL insiders said the Jatiya Party might get 30 to 35 seats though it had demanded more than 70 seats.
Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, yesterday urged the components of AL-led grand alliance to accept the final nominations for the sake of greater interest.
He claimed that the AL has already reached a consensus with its alliance partners over the seat sharing issue.
The BNP, however, is not prepared to disclose the names of its nominees in all 300 seats as it wants to pick some contenders after the disposal of appeals filed with the Election Commission by many of its leaders. The nomination papers of those candidates were rejected by returning officers during scrutiny.
The EC will complete disposal of appeals tomorrow, a day before the expiry of the deadline for withdrawal of candidature.
The BNP may announce the list of final candidates in 200 seats as it has left around 50 seats for its partners in two alliances -- the 20-party combine and the Jatiya Oikyafront.
“We will try to unveil a partial list of the candidates tomorrow [Friday],” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told this newspaper last night.
He said some party nominees got back their candidature by winning appeals at the EC. Some more leaders might win the appeals, he added.
“We need to accommodate them. Therefore, we cannot finalise the full list right now.”
The BNP will finalise candidates for around 50 seats after the EC completes hearing the appeals. It has almost completed seat sharing negotiations with its partners in the 20-party alliance and the Jatiya Oikyafront, party insiders said.
It has fielded Jamaat-e-Islami leaders in 20 constituencies, the highest number of seats obtained by any partner of the alliances.
In the Oikyafront, the BNP gave seven seats to the Gonoforum, two to Nagorik Oikya, four to Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Rab) and one to Krishak Sramik Janata League.
Some senior BNP leaders held a series of meetings with the leaders of 20-party alliance and Jatiya Oikyafront to reach a consensus over seat sharing.
The Oikyafront, the alliance consisting of the BNP and several other opposition parties, would unveil its election manifesto at a press conference on December 17, BNP leader Fakhrul told reporters after a meeting of the alliance’s election steering committee at its office in the capital yesterday.
Earlier in the day, the Oikyafront announced that it would hold a rally on December 10 in the city. But it postponed the programme in the evening. Fakhrul said the rally was cancelled on political grounds.
“We will hold the rally in the capital at the fag-end of the election campaign in favour of our alliance candidates,” he said.
Meanwhile, the AL may come up with its electoral manifesto on December 12. Sheikh Hasina, president of the AL, would unveil the manifesto at a press conference, party insiders said.