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WHIPS IN THE BANGLADESH PARLIAMENT


“It is time all the political parties realized the necessity of working together to make Parliament effective.“


e) Maintaining cohesion within the governing party and to build relationships with other political parties;


f) Making sure that each of the political parties is properly represented on the various committees;


g) Maintaining sound relations between the various political parties, and


h) Attending to disputes between political parties.


(2) A Whip shall perform such func tions as may be assigned to him by the Chief Whip or the govern ment or as may be prescribed.


In the Warrant of Precedence of Bangladesh, the Chief Whip enjoys the same status as a cabinet Minister and is entitled to all the privileges and facilities provided to the same. The Whips enjoy the status and privileges of a state Minister.


Planning the agenda and timing The Chief Whip and his team have an important role in party business within the Parliament. Regarding the running of the House, the Speaker gives some certain instructions in the light of the Rules of Procedures. It is convenient for the Speaker to talk about this with the Leader of the House through the Chief Whip since he is the best informed person in the Parliament as far as the volume of work and its progress and the fellow Members are concerned as the Chief Whip maintains direct and intimate communications with the MPs. The Chief Whip has to keep special attention to ensure that the


decisions taken in the Business Advisory Committee Meeting prior to each session are implemented in the stipulated time. The Chief Whip receives the co-operation of fellow Whips in this job. On days when Parliament sits,


the Chief Whip plans the day’s agenda and sorts out procedural and other details in consultation with the Speaker. He/she has to make sure that the minimum number of Members required to conduct the business of the House, is present. He also organizes the lists of party Members who wish to speak on specific Bills and motions and other discussions as and when necessary which are approved by the Leader of the House in accordance with the Rules of Procedure. The Chief Whip passes the lists


to the Speaker before the debate begins. Later he and the other Whips meet and finalize everything.


176 | The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three


The Chief Whip also consults the Speaker and decides on the sitting arrangement of the ruling MPs. When a Bill is brought by a


Member, private or government, to the House for discussion, it goes through the Chief Whip.


Political give and take on both sides In forming the Parliamentary Standing Committees, the Chief Whip plays a significant role too. Usually the committees are formed according to the proposal of the Leader of the House. But if there arises any objection or disagreement to the formation of any committee, the Chief Whip and the Opposition Chief Whip settle that through informal discussion. Under the direction of the


Chairman of the parliamentary party (Leader of the House), the Chief Whip calls the meetings of the


parliamentary party as well. In the Parliament building there is a specific room for holding the meeting of the ruling party which is controlled and managed by the Chief Whip. The Chief Whip is usually a


senior parliamentarian who has huge experience in parliamentary affairs. Therefore, young MPs often seek advice and suggestions from him/ her. Even on other than parliamentary affairs, they receive this guidance and support. The Chief Whip and the other


Whips pass the opinions of the backbench Members on to the party leadership. They help Backbenchers communicate with the cabinet and individual Minister as well. So far, in the Bangladesh


Parliament the post of the Opposition Chief Whip is not officially recognized but a parliamentary responsibility. The main Opposition Leader recognizes the party Whip as the Opposition


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