New faces likely in parliament posts

Speaker Shirin Sharmin may retain her position

Shawkat Ali Khan

23 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The 11th parliament may see new faces in its major posts like the cabinet which has been formed dropping many seasoned ministers of the previous government.       

Incumbent Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury may retain her post, but other top posts of the parliament are likely to be filled by new faces, sources say.

After winning the December 30 national election with an absolute majority, Awami League MPs led by party president Sheikh Hasina took oath on January 3.

Party lawmakers elected Sheikh Hasina as the Leader of the House for the third consecutive term.

On January 7, Sheikh Hasina took oath as prime minister for the third term in a row and formed the new cabinet with new faces, dropping many seasoned ministers.

“The prime minister may bring new faces in the posts of deputy speaker, deputy leader of the House, chief whip and other important posts,” said a senior lawmaker, wishing not to be named.

Senior ministers, who have been dropped from the previous cabinet, may be made chairmen of parliamentary standing committees on different ministries, said the lawmaker from greater Rangpur.

The issue appears on the table as the maiden session of the new parliament will begin on January 30.

As per the rules of the procedures, the speaker and deputy speaker should be elected at the first sitting of a new parliament.

Lawmakers directly elect speaker and deputy speaker of the House. The eligibility to become speaker and deputy speaker is that they should be the lawmakers.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already hinted that incumbent Speaker may retain her post.

The rules of procedures stipulate that at the first sitting after general election, parliament shall proceed to elect a Speaker not less than one hour before the time fixed for the election, any member may give notice in writing, addressed to the secretary, of a motion that another member be chosen as the Speaker, and the notice shall be seconded by a third member and shall be accompanied by a statement in writing by the member whose name is proposed in the notice that he is willing to serve as Speaker, if elected.

The same rule shall apply for the election of the Deputy Speaker.

As per the rules, the incumbent Speaker and Deputy Speaker will hand over the charges to the elected Speaker and Deputy Speaker after the election.

Talking to the daily sun, many lawmakers said the House may get a new Deputy Speaker. Incumbent Deputy Speaker is Fazle Rabbi Miah.

The names of some senior MPs like former law minister Abdul Matin Khasru, former chief whip Abdus Saheed and incumbent whip Sahiduzzaman Sarker are in the air for the post.

A new face may furnish the post of Deputy Leader of the House. Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, who is holding the post, may be dropped on health grounds.

The names of Awami League advisory council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed and presidium member Matia Chowdhury have been in the air for the post.

Matia Chowdhury may be appointed for the post, sources say.

As per the constitution, the President appoints chief whip and whips of parliament from among the lawmakers. The President appoints those whose names are prescribed by the Leader of the House.

Incumbent whip ASM Feroz is unlikely to retain his post. Noor-E-Alam Chowdhury, also the general secretary of the Awami League Parliamentary Party, may be appointed to the post.

Apart from the chief whip post, some names have been in the air for the six posts of whip.  

Incumbent whip Iqbalur Rahim, Habibe Millat, Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan, Fazle Karim Chowdhury, Simeen Hossain Rimi, Jewel Areng and Md Saifuzzaman are in the air.

It is also learnt from sources that the ruling Awami League may appoint some lawmakers from its alliance partners for the posts of whip as they have not been inducted the cabinet.

Workers Party of Bangladesh general secretary Fazle Hossain Badsha and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction general secretary Shirin Akhter may also be included in the whip post.

Main opposition Jatiya Party, which contested the December 30 polls under the Awami League-led grand alliance, has already demanded that they should be given the Deputy Speaker post.  Jatiya Party also sought the whip post.

But everything depends on the Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.