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TIB and Profile of MPs October 24, 2012

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, POLITICS.
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Transparency International Bangladesh recently published a report on the performance of MPs in Bangladesh. It was observed that 149 of sitting MPs representing 97% were engaged in negative activities. and 70% of them were involved in criminal activities and among them, 53.5% MPs are directly engaged. Of the 149 MPs , 141 are male and 8 female , 136 from Treasury Bench members, 27 are ministers and state ministers and 13 opposition law makers.

The negative activities include influencing administrative works, interfering developmental activities, misusing developmental funds, being involved in or support the criminal activities, influence the purchase procedures, break the electoral law, grave plots etc.

The report added that people are little satisfied with their role in fulfilling electoral pledges, representing the locality in the parliament, participation in the developmental works and communicating with the people.

The report pointed that the causes for involving in negative activities are using the MP post for earning, structural limitation such as obligation to the party, extra-administrative responsibility, not oblige to disclose information, absence of punishment specially of the government law makers, lack of exercise of democratic values.

The report also recommends increasing participation of the lawmakers in the parliament by freeing them from administrative and developmental works, abolishingg the provision for boycotting the parliament, cutting the leave of MPs from 90 days to 30 days, not to remain absent for 7 days at a stress, giving the opposition their due share, electing deputy speaker from opposition, resigning of speaker from the party and making provision for electing him uncontested in the next parliament, abolishing clause 70 of the constitution and making the MPs free to vote on different issues in the parliament.

and to discourage the negative activities the report suggests framing rule of conduct for the MPs, taking actions against negative activities, publishing statement of income and expenditure, wealth, loan , income tax, criminal cases, development allotment etc, to aware the public about the duties and responsibilities of the law makers by the media and election commission etc.

After the disclosure of the report the citizen groups and common people found the report reflected their views but the government reacted sharply to the report. They view the report as incorrect and as a conspiracy to encourage non-political transition of the government.

The officials of TIB rejected the objection and argued the report is based on actual perception of people.

An ordinary citizen

Reference Link: Report of TIB on MPs

The Privileged September 15, 2010

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Recently Bangladesh Government has declared that the *MPs will not have to pay any taxes whatsoever their income is. Though the Parliamentary Committee and general public expressed their resentment against the decision, Government is stick to its decision as the MPs are the public representatives and every effort should be made to lessen the financial burden on them.

The MPs are also entitled to bring tax free vehicle for their personal use. In the past, it was found that some MPs bought the vehicles of Taka 1 crore or more and sold their vehicle to a second party, in breach of the conditions, for which they were accused by the ACC during the tenure of the past Caretaker Government.

MPs of the Government parties are in a better position than their opposition. Virtually all the cases put against the MPs during the last Caretaker Government and even before, have been dropped or withdrawn by the prosecutors or the High Court. The no of cases may be few hundreds.

MPs also get the the privilege to control local governments by holding the post of Adviser to the Upazilla Parishad (sub-district council) and it is set as such that without the permission of the Adviser no development work in the local level would be carried out. The authority is bestowed upon the MPs against the protest of the upazilla chairmen and councilors.

Recently a murdered young man found in the private vehicle of an MP who brought the body to the parliament building. The victim was a cadre of his own party. Initially it was thought to be an accident, later the driver was accused of killing. The motive was not clear.The family was pointing the finger to the MP but the investigating authority couldn’t find any clue or connection to accuse him.

The privileges of MP must attract many others to hunt the post. But it will not be easy to be one.

The money they expend and the trouble they take to be an elected member of the parliament, probably they deserve the privilege!

An ordinary citizen

* MP- Member of Parliament

Some rule, some law! on daily Star by Shahedul Anam Khan

Why AL is against Upazilla election though there is chance of winning? August 22, 2008

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Both the election commission and the government are willing to hold the upazilla election in October 2008 before the national election.
But major political parties -AL and BNP are against the October elections. Their leaders in different forums repeatedly voiced their concern against the election and said that they will in no way participate in the upazilla election and if needed they threatened to launch movement against the government.

But the government seems to pay little heed to the demand of the AL and BNP. Government is already started to transfer the government officials at the district and upazilla level on the request of election commission. The move is a part of preparation of holding upazilla election.
In a reply to the query of the journalists, the LGRD adviser said that people and party leaders at the grassroots level expressed their willingness to have the upazilla election in October under this government. So, government will respond to their appeal.

But though AL made sweeping victory in the in the last August city corporation and municipalities election,why it is against the upazilla election? There is no loss in winning and the state of BNP is still so much disorganized that they would hardly in a position to compete with AL. They will be in trouble if fixing their their strategy in the same way as that of last August election. Jamaat-e-Islami, their closest associate, y will pull them back to stay out of upazilla election as before. In this context, I though by myself , what could be reasons for AL not participating in the upazilla election??

One reason is to be clear, it is AL central leaders, not the grassroots level leaders and workers, who are against the upazilla elections. As the media always resounds the words and phrases of the top leaders, it seams that AL as a party is against the election. But why the top leaders are against where the workers and local leaders are in favour? The reason may be that the leaders in the center may loss their hold on upazillas physically and financially once upazilla chairmans are elected on popular vote. The Top leaders will be left out only to be members of parliament who will have authority only on law-making and no executive power in the locality.

Though the leaders are not liking the idea, but common people and many party activists prefer the change in the situation so far practiced.

An ordinary citizen

MPs should only be law makers November 14, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION.
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Aspiration of political leaders in our country is to become Member of Parliament In recent years more and more businessmen,, retired beaucrates, retired army officers and active or retired professionals are coming into the race.

To be an MP opens up the roads to many opportunities. He is at the same time a law maker/policy maker , virtually chief executive of his constituency and executioner of the development fund.

As the all the power and privileges are concentrated in the single hand in a sense, there is every chance of exploitation of the privilege of the position. This is in fact has given the surge of corruption by the politicians in our country.

The ordinary citizen thinks that a member of parliament should only be the law maker or policy maker. He should not be given executive assignment except for the ministers who would be the executive head of their respective ministries and the prime minister who would be the head of the state and will carry out the job as assigned by the constitution. The MP at best will play advisory role in different committees of his constituency and be member of the different committees of the parliament.

This segregation of role of law making will discourage the money hungry politicians and black moneyed businessmen and illiterates for becoming MP, on the other hand it will encourage seasoned politicians, intellectuals and literates to compete for the post. The civil society representatives also will get the opportunity to trade the path .

The other people who prefer executive status and prefer to involve with developmental activities they should be given the opportunity to participate in the local body elections at the upazilla and zilla level.

This separation of role of law making from role of political executives will make our parliament more vibrant and more effective. People will not quarrel in the parliament on political issues in the budget sessions days after days.


An ordinary citizen