Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury yesterday said her win in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association election and triumph of Awami League MP Saber Hossain Chowdhury as President of Inter-Parliamentary Union had proved that the world community had confidence in the government.
“They [international community] have also accepted the January 5 polls which the opposition termed ‘illegal’ and some western countries have snubbed,” she said while briefing reporters at the airport’s VIP terminal.
Shirin Sharmin rejected the notion that the January 5 polls stained the country’s relations with the western governments, saying that Bangladesh’s leadership in the CPA and IPU would improve the country’s image.
But the British government in its Human Rights and Democracy Report 2013 released on October 16 said British Prime Minister David Cameron at July 22 meeting with Sheikh Hasina expressed ‘disappointment’ over the Bangladesh polls.
“I do not think that our relations (with the western countries) has stained. If so, we would not have won the two biggest international parliamentary forums,” Shirin Sharmin told reporters replying to a Dhaka Tribune question.
Bangladesh had got international leadership of parliamentary democracy, she added.
The speaker yesterday reached Dhaka airport from Delhi where she attended seminars on India-Bangladesh relations in future. She went to Geneva from Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon where she was elected chairperson of the executive committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) on October 9.
A team of 10 MPs, headed by chief campaigner Imran Ahmed, canvassed for Bangladesh candidate in the IPU assembly that elected Saber Chowdhury as the next president of the global parliamentary body, founded in 1889, on October 16.
Saber who returned home yesterday joined Shirin Sharmin to brief reporters on Bangladesh’s victory in the global forums of parliament.
He said Bangladesh had a limited number of diplomatic missions.
Saber said his election as IPU president would enable Bangladesh to grasp the opportunity to set linkages with 192 countries in the world including 166 IPU members and 19 CPA members.
The foreign office could utilise Bangladesh leadership for promoting Bangladesh’s interests globally including America where Dhaka maintained very poor ties, he added.