The Eighth session of the Ninth Parliament which commenced on 25th January 2011 and continued for 33 days concluded on 24th March 2011.  On 15th March 2011 after a long gap, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the main opposition party, joined in the discussion on the President’s address. A total 227 Members of Parliament (MPs), 199 members from the Ruling party and 28 from the opposition, joined in this discussion. The discussion continued for 41 hours 26 minutes of which 35 hours 45 minutes were taken up by the Ruling party members and 5 hours 41 minutes were taken up by the opposition members. Along with the Prime Minister, 47 female members of Parliament participated in the discussion.

On 21 July 2010, a Special Committee of 15 members was formed to amend the Constitution. Three members from the opposition parties were included to this 15 member committee. A couple of meetings with experts on the Constitution were held and their recommendations were compiled and incorporated in the Committee report.  Including members from the Opposition and seeking expert opinions is a good sign for promoting democracy but whether these recommendations are properly evaluated or not needs to be monitored. Only if it is practiced properly will democracy be established in its true sense.

For more of the report click here