Reduce parliament tenure, says Bangladesh minister

August 4th, 2009 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, Aug 4 (IANS) A senior minister Tuesday said the tenures of parliament and other local government bodies should be reduced since “five years’ tenure is very long”.
Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said that the five-year duration of any form of government “is very long”, Star Online reported.

He suggested that the tenure of local government bodies should be decreased to three years. But he refrained from making a similar suggestion about parliament.

The minister, elected unopposed last week as the general secretary of the ruling Awami League, is considered close to the party chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

There was no indication, however, whether there has been any discussion on this within the party and the ruling alliance that swept the parliament poll in December last year.

“I think the local government should be of three years. Five years’ tenure is very long for a parliament and the parliament should review its tenure,” the minister told reporters.

The minister was speaking as the chief guest at Consultation Programme on Selecting Union Parishads for Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh. It is a project organised jointly by his ministry and United Nations Development Programme.

Citing examples of the US that has a four year term for the president, he said very few countries in the world, except some neighbouring countries, have this practice of five years of parliament.

Bangladesh has in the past experimented with both parliamentary form and presidential form of governments. It has had phases of military or military-guided rule between 1975 and 1990.

There was also a brief period of one-party presidential rule imposed in early 1975 by the country’s founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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