Parliament taken over by businessmen | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 12, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 12, 2019

Parliament taken over by businessmen

Levitksy and Ziblatt, professor of politics at Harvard University, commented how a businessman, Donald Trump, took over the presidentship of the United States of American which is a concerning sign of authoritarianism. However, the fact of the matter is that this has now become a worldwide phenomenon. And Bangladesh is also experiencing the same situation.

Since 1971, we have seen how the involvement of businessmen in politics has been on the rise in our country. According to the latest data provided by Sushasoner Jonno Nagorik (SUJON), 61.7 percent of parliament members who have been elected to parliament in the elections of December 30 last year are businessmen. This is a matter of serious concern for Bangladesh where democracy is already reeling.

Enacting and changing laws, passing the national budget and other duties concerning the executive branch of the government are all important functions of parliamentarians. But when the majority of parliamentarians are businessmen this could be problematic for the nation.

In many cases, as we have already seen, businessmen in parliament make use of state apparatus to promote their own business interests. And that obviously clashes with the interest of ordinary citizens. Therefore, we should all take a careful look at the state of our current parliament, and how that may affect our nation going forward.

 

Akmal Hossain, University of Dhaka

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