Jatiya Party

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Jatiya Party
জাতীয় পার্টি
President Hussain Muhammad Ershad
Headquarters 27/8/A, Topkhana Road, Dhaka-1000[1]
Seats in the Jatiyo Sangshad
34 / 300
Politics of Bangladesh
Political parties
Elections

The Jatiya Party (Ershad) (National Party (Ershad)) is a political party in Bangladesh established by President Hussain Mohammad Ershad on 1 January 1986. The Army Chief Lieutenant General Hussain Muhammad Ershad had usurped the state power by a coup d'etat on 24 March 1982, and ruled the country as chief martial law administrator till December 1983. Political parties and activity had been prohibited during the state of emergency, when Justice A. F. M. Ahsanuddin Chowdhury was appointed President of Bangladesh.

Ershad wanted more civilian influence and decided to develop a political party to represent his government. The Janadal was organized under the leadership of Ahsanuddin Chowdhury, and Ershad declared a 19-point programme on 17 March 1983.

President Ahsanuddin Chowdhury declared the establishment of Janadal at an assembly of political activists held on 27 November 1983. The formation of executive committee of the new party was delayed due to the adverse political situation in the country. Later, the central executive committee was formed with Justice Chowdhury as convenor and MA Matin as general secretary. Consequent upon Ershad's assumption of the presidency, Justice Chowdhury relinquished his position in Janadal. Subsequently Mizaur Rahman Chowdhury and Riazuddin Ahmed (Bhola Miah) were nominated as acting chairman and general secretary, respectively, of Janadal.

In the second stage of party development, a new political forum, Jatiya Front, was formed at the initiative of General Ershad. A group of leaders from BNP under Shah Aziz, factions of Janadal and Muslim League, the Ganatantri Dal, United Peoples Party, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, and Anwar Hossain Manju joined the Front. The steering committee of the Jatiya Front consisted of 13 members. On 1 October 1985, the ban on political activities was partially lifted, and within less than six months the Jatiya Front was declared dissolved. A new political party styled as Jatiya Party was formally launched on 1 January 1986 with Hussain Muhammad Ershad as its chairman.

In 1986, Ershad planned to hold an election. On 21 March 1986, President Ershad appealed to the 15-party alliance, led by Awami League, and 7-party alliance, led by BNP, to participate in the Jatiyo Sangsad elections. Five parties of the 15-party alliance, and the 7-party alliance led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) boycotted the election. In the elections held on 7 May 1986, the Jatiya Party secured 153 seats and the Awami League got 76 seats. The fairness of the elections was questioned and allegation of malpractices was raised both nationally and internationally. In the presidential elections held on 15 October 1986, Ershad was elected President. The major opposition parties boycotted the election.

A political movement demanding the resignation of President Ershad took a serious turn in 1987, prompting strikes and protests. Consequently Ershad dissolved the Jatiya Sangsad on 6 December 1987. In the elections for the fourth Jatiya Sangsad held on 3 March 1988, the Jatiya Party secured 251 seats, while all the political parties, including the BNP and the Awami League, boycotted the election.

In the face of the mass movement against him in 1989, President Ershad declared a state of emergency in the country to reduce political activity. Strikes and protests continued, adversely affecting the economy. Finally, with international opposition rising, Ershad felt compelled to resign in December 1990.

He formally handed over power to the Acting President, Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed, on 6 December. That Acting President had Ershad arrested and detained. Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury took over the Jatiya Party as acting chairman. In the elections held on 27 February 1991, the Jatiya Party emerged as the third force by securing 35 seats in the Jatiya Sangsad.

After the elections of the fifth Sangsad, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party formed the government. Jatiya Party secured 32 seats in the Sangsad elections held on 12 June 1996 under the caretaker government (CTG).

In the 1996 elections, Awami League secured the majority of seats in the Jatiyo Sangsad. Jatiya Party gave support to Awami League to form the government and joined the cabinet. Anwar Hossain Manju, the secretary general of Jatiya, was included in the cabinet of Sheikh Hasina as Minister of Communication.

After Ershad was released on bail on 9 January 1997, the Jatiya Party had a rift in leadership and an internal wrangle in 2000. The three factions were headed by General Ershad, Anwar Hossain Manju and Naziur Rahman Manju. In the general elections of 2001, the Ershad group of the Jatiya Party won 14 seats, and the Anwar Hossain group won one seat.

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