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The Parliament of Bangladesh: Representation and Accountability

The journal article “The Parliament of Bangladesh: Representation and Accountability,” authored by CPD Distinguished Fellow Professor Rounaq Jahan was published in The Journal of Legislative Studies, March 2015 16: 1-26, doi:10.1177/1391561415575125.

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Abstract

This article is inspired by a recent debate in Bangladesh about the representativecredentials of members of parliament (MPs) who have started to assert a pre-eminent and exclusive role for themselves as people’s elected representatives. It investigates three dimensions of their representative role. Political representation is analysed by fairness of the electoral process and the space for opposition. Representation of social diversity is evaluated by gender, religion, ethnicity and socio-economic background of MPs. Constituency representation is explored with a particular focus on parliamentarians’ involvement in local development work. Provision of constituency services by the MPs, through control and partisan distribution of public resources, has led to allegations of corruption and conflict of interest. Adoption of a code of parliamentary conduct is essential to establish a formal mechanism to hold MPs accountable to citizens.

Keywords: Bangladesh, parliamentary representation, election, social diversity, constituency service, code of parliamentary conduct

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