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Dhaka Tribune

Shawkat may resign unless made JS speaker

Update : 23 Apr 2013, 05:03 PM

Acting speaker of the parliament Colonel (retd) Shawkat Ali may resign "if somebody else takes over the parliament speaker’s office," which will fall vacant once Abdul Hamid is sworn in as president.

Shawkat Ali, now serving as acting speaker, gave hints to the people close to him in this regard, said a source.

Ali wants to assume the much-coveted post however short the tenure, as the closing bell of the ninth national parliament continues to ring. 

The parliament is set to conclude its five-year term on January 25 of the coming year. At most, two parliament sessions including the budget session for the 2013-14 fiscal year might take place under the 9th parliament in line with the constitution’s 15th amendment. According to the amendment, the parliament would be dissolved three months before it completes its tenure.

When Awami Leage assumed power in 1996, career diplomat Humayun Rashid Chowdhury was made speaker of the parliament while advocate Abdul Hamid was nominated deputy speaker. Later on, the deputy speaker Abdul Hamid assumed the post of speaker upon the death of incumbent speaker Humayun Rashid near the end of the government’s tenure. Professor Abdur Rashid was selected deputy speaker to fill that vacancy.

Shawkat has expressed hope that the nomination for the new speaker will follow the precedence set during the last AL term in power, according to sources close to him. The speaker was enraged upon hearing rumours that state minister Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury might be made the speaker, sources said.

If the state minister was made deputy speaker, he would have no objections, but if the minister was promoted to the parliament speaker post, Shawkat would be very displeased.

Individuals close to the acting speaker said that Shawkat showed both skill and prowess while presiding over most of the 17 sessions, including the current session, held under the 9th parliament.

According to a source, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hinted to confidants that acting speaker Colonel (retd) Shawkat Ali would be made speaker of the parliament and in that case, state minister Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury would be the replacement for his position.

However, another source differed with the previous source’s information and said that Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury would be the next speaker of the parliament.

Hamid is set to take oath as president this evening.

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