Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury administered the oath of office to the new members of the Parliament in phases, with Prime Minister Hasina leading lawmakers during the ceremony.

Chowdhury then handed flowers to Prime Minister Hasina.  

The lawmakers of Awami League’s ally Jatiya Party of former president HM Ershad took the oath under the leadership of his wife and newly elected Member of Parliament Raushan Ershad, fuelling speculation about a rift between the couple.

Ershad, who had declined to take part in the elections, was also elected.

In a dramatic episode, Ershad was brought to a military hospital for ‘treatment’ weeks ahead of the polls and the Election Commission declined to accept his prayers reportedly sent from the facility seeking to withdraw his candidature.

The mass circulation, Prothom Alo, on Thursday said Ershad set four conditions for joining the Parliament as he was still being ‘treated’ at the military hospital and playing golf everyday at a nearby golf course ‘to recover his health’ reportedly in line with doctors advice.

According to reports, Ershad demanded quick disposal of pending graft cases against him; appointment of the party leaders, who refrained from contesting the polls in line with his directives; getting his brother GM Quader elected through a by-election and making none of the party MPs as ministers.

Raushan earlier appeared to have developed a dispute with her husband on the question of participating in the polls but at a press conference on Wednesday night, she said Ershad advised her to appear as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

Raushan, however, said their Jatiya Party, visibly divided in two camps with one lining up behind her and another behind her husband, was yet to decide if it should join the government as it did during its 2008-2014 tenure.

The oath ceremony came amid BNP allegation that the government violated the Constitution by keeping two Parliaments alive simultaneously as the tenure of the past Parliament would expire on January 24.

(Agencies)

Latest News from World News Desk