The BNP has drawn up a package of proposals to strengthen parliament. The proposals would be implemented if the party is voted to power in the next general election.
Senior party leaders said the proposals included plans to set a quota for opposition lawmakers to head parliamentary bodies, give each of the committee chiefs the status of a state minister and hold regular discussions in parliament on important national issues.
The post of the deputy speaker and the chairs of some important parliamentary standing committees, including the public accounts and public undertaking committees, might be given to opposition MPs, the leaders added.
These proposals are part of the BNP's “Vision 2030”, a forerunner to its electoral manifesto for the next national election due in early 2019. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is set to release the document at a press conference in the capital today.
“In the Vision 2030, we'll propose taking steps to empower parliament, ensure good governance and contain terrorism and fanaticism,” BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed told The Daily Star.
All the steps would be taken to strengthen parliament. Besides, the party would make a pledge to keep a right balance of power for the country's chief executive, said the BNP leader.
Wishing anonymity, another senior BNP leader said not a single adjournment motion was discussed in parliament from 1991 to 2006, but the party's Vision 2030 was likely to include that all the adjournment motions would be discussed in the House.
The party would propose to allot more time to opposition lawmakers to speak in parliament. It would also propose to introduce a “by-partisan” process to enable all political parties reach a consensus on important national issues, he said referring to the discussion at a meeting of the BNP standing committee.
To finalise the draft of Vision 2030, BNP standing committee members held the meeting at the chairperson's Gulshan office.
The meeting, which began on Monday night, witnessed a heated debate on various issues of the draft. It was postponed around 1:30am yesterday.
The debate was on the bicameral parliamentary system as most of the standing committee members opposed it saying the system might create problems and confusion.
The meeting resumed yesterday morning and ended around 2:30pm.
The “Vision 2030” will have around 150 points that would cover all the aspects of the country's internal and external affairs. Khaleda will make specific announcements on various ministries and issues, said party sources.
Some committee members suggested that the president should be empowered further.
Meeting sources said a few BNP leaders asked why the draft of the Vision 2030 was placed before the standing committee just two days before making it public.