We can only go on the statements of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and I am encouraged that the party has confirmed that it will take part in the elections. I welcome the opportunity not only to discuss recent elections in Bangladesh but to talk about the lessons of the past few months—I believe that the UK can learn from those lessons—and the opportunities that are open to us as we help Bangladesh to work towards political stability in the coming years. We must discourage the personal exchanges that have occurred between party leaders, because such actions have enormous implications for their ability to work together in the interests of Bangladesh. Indeed, half the electorate did not get the chance to vote. The current Bangladesh Parliament contains 350 seats; 300 Members are elected by direct polls in their respective constituencies Whoever wins the most votes, regardless of turnout or proportion, wins the election. 0000002707 00000 n The question I have for him—and for the Minister—is about how we move forward. 0000001889 00000 n Parliamentary Democracy in Bangladesh: An Evaluation of the Parliament during 1991–2006 M. MONIRUZZAMAN Department of Political Science, International Islamic University Malaysia ABSTRACT This study of three parliaments in Bangladesh during 1991–2006 argues that parliament has failed to become the centre of political and legislative activities. Gentleman made are brought to the attention of DFID Ministers. Gentleman for the work he has done on this issue and for calling for this debate. Now, after their school elections, they will prepare themselves for a Mock Parliament debate where … 0000009918 00000 n I reiterate what I said earlier this month during the excellent debate in the Chamber: whatever someone’s view on that question, it was right, as a nation, to issue statements to make it clear that the elections were neither free nor fair. 0000009266 00000 n That is happening, but clearly not fast enough. May I begin by saying that I am grateful to the hon. My right hon. 0000002080 00000 n I apologise to him at the outset for not being the Minister with direct responsibility for Bangladesh, but I read the Backbench Business Committee debate from 16 January before this debate and I give him a commitment that I will ensure that his remarks today are passed to Baroness Warsi and, in view of the comments he made, to my ministerial counterparts in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. I shall take each of those in turn. 0000014688 00000 n We must also celebrate some signs of progress. “the results of the just-concluded elections do not appear to credibly express the will of the Bangladeshi people”, and called for new elections to be held “as soon as possible.” The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on parties to resume dialogue and to demonstrate “calm and restraint”. Bangladesh is today formally a Westminster-style parliamentary system, i.e. The events running up to the election were deeply regrettable. Gentleman particularly wants to raise anything else, I shall end where I began; by congratulating him on securing the debate and on the tone with which he led it, and by thanking him for his continued interest in the country. Working from this place with our partners, I hope that Britain will make the contribution that only it can to help the people of Bangladesh take the step up to the fully democratic system that they deserve. First, we expressed public regret at the lack of participation and the scenes of violence. @�D&e -�J��wc�g����[email protected], �/�WƇ,N�l7�>��wk� T3%'�� CU��:\���� � R��201��R6��c - �0:1p)&��B&���D�ԿX=&;�[r��� a�Y�-W��'��9e% '"C. One programme that falls into that category, called Strengthening Political Participation in Bangladesh, holds three clear goals: first, to make political parties more responsive to citizens and their interests; secondly, to strengthen core democratic institutions, namely the Bangladesh Electoral Commission and Parliament; and thirdly, to ensure that civil society advocates effectively for a more accountable and responsible political system.