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Report claims 97 percent of lawmakers are corrupt
Government promises legal action if damning report is verifiedTransparency International said the Bangladesh parliament is gripped by widespread corruption
- ucanews.com reporter, Dhaka
- October 18, 2012
A warning came from Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu after Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) issued a report on Sunday which alleged that 97 percent of parliament members are involved in â€śnegative activities.â€ť
â€śWe will ask for the graft report from TIB and take legal action against legislators if the report is found correct,â€ť said the information minister.
His comments follow efforts by high-ranking members of the government to discredit TIB.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Tuesday that the report was â€śill-motivatedâ€ť with the goal of tarnishing the governmentâ€™s reputation, while Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said the same day that TIBâ€™s claims were aimed at â€śimpeding democracy.â€ť
â€śYes, it is motivated,â€ť said TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman. â€śThe motive is to strengthen the countryâ€™s democracy.â€ť
TIB researchers say that data was taken from newspapers and 600 â€śimpartial and concernedâ€ť citizens from 42 districts which are represented by the 149 MPs surveyed.
The survey covered 136 lawmakers from the Awami League and 13 from the Opposition Alliance led by the Bangladesh National Party.
It claimed that 53.5 percent of MPs carried out criminal acts in person although criminal cases have been filed against less than half that number.
In most cases, people involved or affected by the criminal activities were too scared to file cases with the police, it said.
â€śIf you look at the performance of your local MPs, Â you can realize the truth behind the survey,â€ť said Hafizuddin Khan, a TIB Trustee member.
TIB has called on the government to formulate a law to prevent MPs from direct participation in local administration and development works and a ban on group parliamentary boycotts.
Bridge of dreams turns bridge of sighs