BNP’s lawmaker-elect from reserved seats for women in the parliament, Rumeen Farhana, yesterday took oath as MP of the 11th parliament.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury administered the oath at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban. Parliament Secretariat’s Senior Secretary Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan conducted the ceremony.
Talking to reporters after taking oath, Rumeen said she wants a “representative government” to be formed as early as possible through a participatory election as “the current parliament was not elected with people’s votes”.
“Taking oath as an MP for the first time is certainly a matter of elation for me. But I am embarrassed because the parliament I am representing was not elected by people’s mandate. This parliament has no connection with the people of Bangladesh,” she said.
“Since formation of this parliament, I have been saying that this [parliament] is illegal. I’m still saying this unequivocally. I’ll be happy if my tenure as MP does not last over one day,” she said.
Asked why she took oath as an MP of a parliament while labelling it “illegal”, BNP’s lone female MP said she did it to use the platform [parliament] to speak for her party, the country and its people since the democratic space for raising voice is ever-shrinking.
Rumeen hoped that they will be given adequate time to speak up in the parliament without considering the number of seats the party has.
She said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is eligible to get bail in the cases filed against her, but she has been kept in jail -- depriving her of her legal rights.
Rumeen also said Khaleda Zia has been subjected to political vengeance. “I’ll surely talk about the issue in the parliament.”
Fifty seats, reserved for women, are allocated among political parties in proportion to their number of MPs.
BNP, which has five MPs in the House, got one reserved seat and picked Rumeen, its assistant international affairs secretary and daughter of Language Movement veteran Oli Ahad.
She filed her nomination on May 20, and the Election Commission declared her elected from the reserved seat on May 28.