Bangladesh fails to regain Commonwealth parliamentary membershipAugust 10th, 2008 - 1:14 pm ICT by IANS
Kuala Lumpur, Aug 10 (IANS) Without an elected parliament and ruled by a military-backed caretaker government, Bangladesh has failed to restore its membership in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). Delegates at the general assembly of the 54th CPA conference voted against Bangladesh’s appeal, The Star newspaper said Sunday.
Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar, speaker of the Bangladesh parliament, appealed against the decision of executive committee of the CPA to place it in suspension since April 7 last year pending the resumption of parliamentary government.
The committee placed the Bangladesh branch in abeyance as it ceased to function as a parliamentary body.
Although there is no parliament in existence, Sircar remains the speaker as per a parliamentary tradition in many countries.
The parliament of Bangladesh was dissolved for an election in October 2006 and polls were scheduled for Jan 22 last year.
However, the election was postponed following months of political turmoil and the interim government imposed a national emergency in January last year.
The government of Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed has since launched “reforms” for the country’s political and electoral system and is conducting a drive against corruption, detaining and prosecuting thousands.
Among those who were prosecuted are two former prime ministers, Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, besides 200 other former ministers, lawmakers, officials and businessmen.
The government, that concluded civic polls this week, has promised parliamentary polls in December.
The CPA’s executive committee said in a statement that it was likely that the parliamentary government would resume in 2009 and it would then be able to return the Bangladeshi CPA branch to full active status.
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