Bangladesh elects on national level a legislature with one house or chamber. The unicameral Jatiyo Sangshad, meaning national parliament, has 330 members of which 300 members are directly elected through a national election for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies while 30 memberships are reserved for the women who are selected by the ruling party or coalition. The Prime Minister is the head of the government. The president who is the head of the state is elected by the National Parliament. The president of Bangladesh is a ceremonial post and he/she does not exercise any control over the running of the state.
Bangladesh has an unofficial two-party system which has evolved over time since the election of 1991. It means that there are two dominant political parties or coalitions, with extreme difficulty for anybody to achieve electoral success under the banner of any other party in terms is single majority.
The general elections will be held on 29 December 2008 under the military-controlled interim government headed by Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed. The state of emergency declared in early 2007 was lifted on 16 December. Many national and foreign electoral observation missions have been allowed to operate. The official Election Commission website contains elections-related information, but a far better source for news, views and other resources, such as interactive maps, is the New Age Election Portal (newagebd.com/election).