Most new lawmakers in Bangladesh are businessmen

January 4th, 2009 - 2:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 4 (IANS) About 160 new lawmakers in Bangladesh are businessmen, marking a near-doubling of their presence from 84 in the eighth parliament, going by the statements they have filed before the Election Commission.Jamiruddin Serker, speaker of the outgoing parliament, placed the proportion of businessmen at 40 percent and noted the change from the first assembly of the then East Pakistan, which had a majority of lawyers.

A majority of lawyers and businessmen are full-time politicians who engage in professional activities, the New Age newspaper said Sunday, adding that the latest tally of 160 may be misleading.

The number of those who claim to be full-time politicians is, however, only 12. There are 44 lawyers among those who took oath in the assembly.

Whatever their profession, “all that is expected of them is that they should take their parliamentary responsibilities seriously”, the newspaper said in an editorial.

“The surge in the number of businessmen is, however, understandable. The present-day creed of globalisation has invested business and business leaders with a new value and glory.

“Businessmen as MPs can be an added asset in another way. They have greater interest in the preservation of peace and order and can serve as a stronger stabilising force. However, businessmen also have a tendency to judge everything in terms of personal profit and loss. Personal or group profit concern must not outweigh national needs and priorities, if the MPs remain true to their pledge,” the newspaper said.

Conceding that some areas of governance require expertise, the editorial cautioned against distributing portfolios as per area specialisation.

“One does not need to have professional specialisation in that particular field to competently run a ministry. Hence, that practice should be discontinued,” it observed.

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