Matia elected deputy leader of the House
Awami League Presidium Member and former minister Matia Chowdhury has been elected the deputy leader of the House.
AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader proposed her name for the position at a meeting of its parliamentary party (ALPP) at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban last night.
The proposal was seconded by ALPP Secretary Noor-E-Alam Chowdhury Liton, also the Jatiya Sangsad chief whip.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting.
Some party leaders had assumed that Matia would become the country's next president. But AL President Hasina wants her to perform duties as the deputy leader of the House, party insiders said.
The post of the deputy leader of the House fell vacant after Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury died on September 11 last year.
A former presidium member of the ruling AL, Sajeda was appointed for the third consecutive term as the deputy leader of the 11th parliament.
The AL has been in power for three consecutive terms since 2009. The party now has an absolute majority in parliament.
From 2009 till her death, Sajeda had been the deputy leader of the parliament.
Matia, an MP from Sherpur-2, is also a former agriculture minister.
Names of veteran AL leaders Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Matia Chowdhury and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim were discussed for the post after Sajeda's death.
There is no legal obligation to fill the post of deputy leader in parliament.
During the 2001-06 tenure of the BNP-Jamaat government, then prime minister Khaleda Zia did not appoint anyone to the post.
However, AL has always filled the post with a senior party leader.