Vol. 5 Num 263 Tue. February 22, 2005  
Front Page

Sangsad session resumes today with signs of quorum crisis

The parliament session, after a four-day recess, resumes today amid strong signs of an acute quorum crisis as the ruling party lawmakers have apparently lost their interest in attending the House.

The four-party alliance led by BNP has not taken any steps yet to ensure the presence of its lawmakers in the House on time, and the absence of the main opposition Awami League (AL) in parliament only makes the quorum situation worse, said a whip of the ruling BNP.

The AL has yet to fix a date for its parliamentary party meeting, which is to decide on joining the current session. "The date of the parliamentary party meeting will be fixed in a couple of days," Deputy Leader of the Opposition Abdul Hamid told The Daily Star yesterday.

The 15th session, which began on January 31 and was boycotted by AL, failed to start on time because 60 lawmakers could not be convened in the House. The ruling alliance has over 200 lawmakers.

The House had earlier witnessed an acute quorum crisis on Thursday, with Speaker Jamir Uddin Sircar running the sitting without a quorum and eventually adjourning it till 4:30pm today. The House was also adjourned due to an acute quorum crisis on February 10.

The ruling BNP whips have not initiated any steps to ensure a quorum on time, asking lawmakers to be present in the House on time.

"What can we do if the lawmakers are not willing to join the House?" questioned a ruling BNP whip yesterday, preferring anonymity. He said, however, they would urge the party deputies today to join the House on time and make a quorum.

A senior BNP lawmaker blamed the personal business commitment of alliance MPs for the continuous quorum crisis. "Most of them (lawmakers) are not sincere about their parliamentary responsibilities."

Another senior BNP MP, however, passed the buck on his cabinet colleagues. "If 50 percent of them appear in the House, the situation is sure to improve. But a large number of ministers are religiously dodging the parliamentary proceedings."


BNP lawmaker Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan was flown in from Khagrachhari yesterday by an air force helicopter as he felt unwell with abnormal heart rhythms. He was admitted to the CMH yesterday.

The speaker weighed in immediately after he received information on the lawmaker and asked the authorities concerned to bring him to Dhaka for better treatment.