Outgoing Bangladesh Speaker warns against ‘parliamentary autocracy’

January 4th, 2009 - 2:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 4 (IANS) The outgoing Speaker of Bangladesh’s parliament has warned of a “parliamentary autocracy” in the wake of the ninth general elections throwing up a house with the government benches enjoying a massive majority.Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar, who lost the Dec 29 poll, said: “People’s faith in the democratic practices would go if the ruling parties resort to muzzling the opposition in the house and oppress them outside.”

After administering the oath to members of the ninth house, Sircar told Bdnews24.com online newspaper Saturday he believed the 31-strong Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-Jamaat-e-Islami combine, to which he belonged, would be able to challenge the treasury benches in parliament “unless they are obstructed,” New Age newspaper said.

Nevertheless, Sircar said Parliament should become the centre of national politics and the losers should not take to the streets.

He told The Daily Star newspaper that he would not seek any election in future.

The newspaper, commenting on Sircar’s role as the presiding officer, said that he had “virtually proved his absolute loyalty to the treasury bench rather than the House.

“He never initiated any significant step to uphold the dignity of the House and often remained silent against contravention of parliamentary affairs to some extent.

“Being the head of Jatiya Sangsad, Sircar is widely considered to have failed to play his role effectively in upholding the significance of his position as the speaker, a symbol of power and authority of the House,” it said.

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