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CPA photo of the Parliamentary Roadshow in Bangladesh in May 2017.

CPA Chair Highlights Role of the Opposition In Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy

The CPA President and Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Executive Committee, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh has highlighted the role of the Opposition and the Treasury bench as important for strengthening parliamentary democracy at CPA Roadshow for young people in Bangladesh. The CPA Chairperson emphasised that if the Opposition plays a constructive and responsible role in the democratic process then the accountability of the government can be ensured.

The Chairperson was speaking as the chief guest at the CPA Roadshow for Young People on Parliamentary Democracy held at the North Plaza of the Bangladesh Parliament and hosted by the CPA Bangladesh Branch.
The third CPA Roadshow to be held in Bangladesh, the aim of the event was to familiarise young people with the concepts of parliamentary democracy. A total of 150 students from the Department of Law, English and Political Sciences of Dhaka University took part in the event.

The CPA Chairperson said that the CPA Roadshows for Young People play a vital role in educating the youth of society about the parliamentary system of government and that she believes that the future leadership of the country lies with the youth. In this respect, the CPA Chairperson added that the CPA Roadshows and other outreach programmes based on the concept of the three Ds = Democracy, Development and Diversity is progressing. Of the 2.4 billon total population of the Commonwealth, about 60% are youth aged under 30 and in order to face the challenges of the future, there is no alternative but to engage and involve the youth of society in all spheres of development.

The CPA Chairperson stressed the need for enriching the youth with the knowledge of democracy and the parliamentary system of government through programmes like the CPA Roadshows, which so far has reached nearly 9,000 students in schools, colleges and universities across seven of the nine regions of the CPA.

The young people at the CPA Roadshow were also addressed by Hon. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, State Minister for Information, Communication and Technology and Mr Kazi Nabil Ahmed, MP. Members of the CPA Bangladesh Branch – Ms Sagufta Yasmin, MP, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) President; Mr Shahiduzzaman Sarkar, MP, Whip at the Bangladesh Parliament; Ms Mahbub ara Gini, MP, Whip at the Bangladesh Parliament; and Mr. Mahbub Ali, MP – also attended the CPA Roadshow. A lively interactive session followed the speeches where the students raised questions on different issues that were answered by the Speaker of the Bangladesh Parliament and other Members of Parliament. The students were then taken for a tour of the Parliament of Bangladesh to conclude their visit.

This is the third CPA Roadshow hosted by the CPA Bangladesh Branch. The CPA Roadshows were launched by the CPA Chairperson, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP in Bangladesh in March 2016 and since then CPA Roadshows have been held with schools, colleges and universities across the CPA Regions in the Commonwealth.

The CPA Roadshows provide an opportunity for young people to learn about the political values of the Commonwealth and issues such as youth engagement; to discuss issues of concern about the society in which they live; and to meet local Members of Parliament and Parliamentary staff and to find out about the work of the CPA. The CPA Roadshows aim to engage with young people and education establishments to promote parliamentary democracy and participation in political life.

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