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Zia to lead Bangladesh's smallest-ever opposition

Former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia will be heading what is the "smallest-ever opposition", but has pledged to play a strong role to make parliament effective.

world Updated: Jan 16, 2009 12:21 IST

Former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia will be heading what is the "smallest-ever opposition", but has pledged to play a strong role to make parliament effective, a media report said on Friday.

Zia said lawmakers of her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Islamist ally Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) will attend the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) on the very first day later this month.

Thirty-one opposition members-elect took oath on Thursday, 12 days after 268 of the alliance led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had taken oath. The ninth general elections were held on December 29 last year.

Zia had initially said the election was "rigged" and the results were "not acceptable".

Zia was elected leader of the BNP parliamentary party after which she said: "We will join parliament in the interest of the nation and play a constructive role in parliament," The Daily Star newspaper quoted her as saying.

The BNP received a mild boost last week with the victory of its nominee in Noakhali-1 constituency where election had been postponed.

BNP bagged the seat that has been a traditional stronghold of rival Awami League.