2001 Bangladeshi general election

The Eighth National Parliamentary Elections 2001 (Bengali: অষ্টম জাতীয় সংসদ নির্বাচন ২০০১) were held in Bangladesh on 1 October 2001. 300 single-seat constituencies for the Jatiya Sangsad were contested by 1,935 candidates representing 54 parties and including 484 independents. The election was the second to be held under the caretaker government concept, introduced in 1996. The chief adviser of the caretaker government was Justice Latifur Rahman. The result was a win for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party with its leader Khaleda Zia becoming Prime Minister.

2001 Bangladeshi general election

← 1996 1 October 2001 2008 →

All 300 seats in the Jatiya Sangsad
151 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Begum Zia Book-opening Ceremony, 1 Mar, 2010.jpg Sheikh Hasina - 2009.jpg Hussain Muhammad Ershad.jpg
Leader Khaleda Zia Sheikh Hasina Hussain Muhammad Ershad
Party BNP Awami League Jatiya Party (E)
Leader since 1984 1981 1986
Leader's seat Bogra-6 Gopalganj-3 could not contest
Last election 116 seats, 33.60% 151 seats, 37.40% 32 seats, 16.40%
Seats won 193 62 14
Seat change Increase 77 Decrease 84 Decrease 18
Popular vote 23,074,714 22,310,276 4,023,962
Percentage 41.40% 40.02% 7.22%
Swing Increase 6.80% Increase 2.62% Decrease 7.18%

Prime Minister before election

Sheikh Hasina
Awami League

Subsequent Prime Minister

Khaleda Zia

Electoral SystemEdit

In 2001, the 345 members of the Jatiya Sangsad consisted of 300 directly elected seats using first-past-the-post voting in single-member constituencies,[1] and an additional 45 seats reserved for women. The reserved seats are distributed based on the election results.[2] Each parliament sits for a five-year term.


The Seventh Parliament headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was dissolved on 13 July 2001,[3] having completed its designated 5-year term (the first parliamentary administration to ever do so)[4] and power was transferred to the caretaker government headed by Justice Latifur Rahman.

The election was held on 1 October 2001 and saw victory for the Four Party Alliance, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party, alongside Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Jatiya Party (Manju) and Islami Oikya Jote.


BNP were the clear winners in terms of seats, winning a secure majority with 193 (of 300) seats. BNP's allied parties Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Jatiya Party (Manju) and Islami Oikya Jote also won a combined 23 seats, bringing the alliance total to 216 seats. As a result of the first-past-the-post voting system in Bangladesh, Awami League only secured 62 seats, despite a difference in popular vote share of only ≈1.4%. Voter turnout was very high at 75%.[4]

The international[5] and national monitors declared the polling free and fair even though the Awami League alleged massive vote rigging by the BNP. The accusation was denied by the Chief Election Commissioner, who declared the charges "baseless".[6] International observers, from the European Union, the United Nations and the Carter Center[7] of former US President Jimmy Carter, also praised the heavy voter turnout, which was 75%.[4]

With a clear majority BNP leader Khaleda Zia was invited to form a government and on 10 October 2001, was sworn in as Prime Minister and formed her Cabinet, which included members of her allied parties. The first sitting of the Eighth Parliament occurred on 28 October 2001[3] with Jamiruddin Sircar as its new Speaker.

Percentage of the popular vote, by party

  4 Party Alliance (45.4%)
  Jatiya Party (7.2%)
  Independents (7.4%)
e • d Summary of the 1 October 2001 Bangladesh Jatiyo Sangshad election results
Parties Votes % Seats
Bangladesh Nationalist Party 23,074,714 41.40 193
Bangladesh Awami League 22,310,276 40.02 62
Jatiya Party (Ershad) 4,023,962 7.22 14
Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh 2,385,361 4.28 17
Jatiya Party (Naziur) 521,472 0.94 4
Islami Oikya Jote 312,868 0.56 2
Krishak Shramik Janata League 261,344 0.47 2
Jatiya Party (Manju) 243,617 0.44 1
Non-partisan and others 2,262,045 4.06 6
vacant   - 2
Total (turnout 74.9 %) 55,728,162 100.0 300
Rejected votes 441,871
Total votes 56,169,233
Registered voters 74,951,319
Source: Bangladesh Election Commission through Adam Carr and Daily Star
  • Turnout was 74.96% (56,169,233)
  • Number of polling stations: 29,978
  • Number of polling booths: 149,288
  • Number of polling officers: 477,842
  • Total Registered Voters:75,000,656
  • Male Voter: 38,684,972
  • Female Voters:36,315,684
  • Cast Votes: 75.59%

(Source Bangladesh Election Commission)

Female RepresentationEdit

Of the 300 directly elected seats, only seven were won by women.[8] This parliament marked an increase in the number of reserved seats for women (which are in addition to the 300 directly elected seats) from 30 to 45. Of these 45 reserved seats, 36 were awarded to BNP.[4]

8th Parliament Members of BangladeshEdit


There were reports of violence targeting minority communities in the immediate wake of the elections.[9]

Zia's administration completed a full five-year term, running from 28 October 2001 to 27 October 2006. However, disputes over the selection of a caretaker government, with disagreements between the parties over their neutrality, led to the 2006–08 Bangladeshi political crisis, which eventually resulted in military intervention. New elections would not be held until December 2008.


  1. ^ Electoral system IPU
  2. ^ Ahmed, Nizam; Hasan, Sadik (2018). "Alangkar or Ahangkar? Reserved-Seat Women Members in the Bangladesh Parliament" (PDF). In Ahmed, Nizam (ed.). Women in Governing Institions in South Asia. Springer. p. 18. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-57475-2_2. ISBN 978-3-319-57474-5.
  3. ^ a b "Tenure of All Parliaments". Bangladesh Parliament. 12 August 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "IPU PARLINE database: BANGLADESH (Jatiya Sangsad), Elections in 2001". archive.ipu.org. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Bangladesh parliamentary Elections 1 October 2001: Final Report" (PDF). EU Election Observation Mission. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Zia wins power in Bangladesh". CNN. 5 October 2001. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Postelection Statement by Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Bangladesh Elections, Oct. 5, 2001". www.cartercenter.org. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  8. ^ Kumar Panday, Pranab (1 September 2008). "Representation without Participation: Quotas for Women in Bangladesh". International Political Science Review. 29 (4): 489–512. doi:10.1177/0192512108095724.
  9. ^ 2001 violence on HindusCaretakers, BNP, Jamaat blamed| bdnews24, 24 April 2011