Both elected upopposed; Shirin, Saber defend Nov 5 polls

Both elected upopposed; Shirin, Saber defend Nov 5 polls

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The newly elected chairman of executive committee of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and president of Inter-Parliamentary Union Saber Hossain Chowdhury yesterday expressed their vow to improve Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad to international standard.
Speaking at a “Meet the Reporters” of Bangladesh Parliament Journalists Association at Parliament Members Club, they said democracy would not have existed in the country if the January 5 election that BNP had boycotted was not held.
Besides, they said Bangladesh could not elect chief of the two international organizations and was deprived from its membership.
Replying to a question, Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, who is also Speaker of Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad, claimed that the January 5 election was held within the legal framework.“There is no scope to raise question or spreading confusion about the January 5 poll as 153 lawmakers were elected unopposed in line with the Representation of the People Order,” he said
The CPA chairman termed her victory as the victory of 160 million people of the country and victory of parliamentary democracy.
Asked their win in the two highest platforms of world’s parliamentary democracy marred by the controversial January 5 election or can this win be compared with “spot on the moon,” the Speaker said 153 MPs including me and Saber Hossain elected unopposed in line with the RPO.
“Our election as MPs were in line with the legal framework. Therefore, our elect as chiefs of CPA and IPU cannot be compared with spot on the moon,” she said.
She argued that the victory in the two international fora was possible as the 10th Parliament was formed following the January 5 poll.
“How we could win in the two prestigious international forums if the January 5 election did not take place?” she said adding international community raised so many questions if we had failed to hold that election.
The Speaker said she would work for taking forward the young lawmakers ahead and take up special programme for empowerment of women and gender equality in Bangladesh.
She mentioned that development of the Commonwealth countries would be her prime focus.
Replying to a question, the Speaker said they did not face any obstacle from any quarters locally or internationally to contest for the top posts of the two international forums.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury said with the victory of Bangladesh in the international forums their responsibilities have increased much more.
“Bangladesh is now leading the democratic world. It leads around 45,000 lawmakers under the two organisations representing 650 crore of 185 parliamentary democracy practicing countries in the world,” he said.
He also stressed the need for enacting a law on MPs code of conduct in parliament.
“We will have to improve our parliament into an international standard. Political parties will have to be selective to whom they are giving nomination as MPs. Because quality of parliament also depends of MPs,” he added.
The ruling party lawmaker sought cooperation from political parties and emphahised the need to their commitments to increase the standard of Jatiya Sangsad to international level.
Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad will have to be improved up to the world level and this can be achieved if the political parties come in consensus and make commitment in this regard, he added.
He said increasing capability of parliaments of the parliamentary democracy practicing countries would be his key challenge as the president of IPU.
The IPU chief said he would also try as to how the prevailing problems in the member countries could be resolved.
Speaker Shirin was elected chairperson of the executive body of CPU on October 9 while ruling Awami League MP Saber was elected chief of IPU on October 16.
This was the first ever incident that two Bangladeshis were elected as chief of two international forums that represent over 45,000 MPs of 192 countries having around 650 crore people.
The function was also addressed, among others, by Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah. – Staff Reporter

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