Sheikh Hasina fourth time Prime Minister
President invites her to form govt
Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on Thursday was elected the leader of the 11th parliament, which paved the way for her taking oath of office of the Prime Minister for the fourth term, the third consecutive one.
The new MPs of AL, with an overwhelming majority in the house, re-elected Hasina as Leader of the House at the maiden meeting of the party's Parliamentary Committee held after taking their oath on Thursday at the Parliament Complex of the Jatiya Sangsad.
AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader proposed that Sheikh Hasina, an internationally acclaimed politician and the leader of the people of Bangladesh, be elected as the Leader of the House and subsequently all AL lawmakers supported the proposal and greeted her unanimously.
President Abdul Hamid has requested her to attend the swearing in ceremony at Bangabhaban to lead the government as the fourth Prime Minister of the country on Monday.
The AL-led Grand Alliance won the 11th general elections on Sunday by a landslide, securing 288 parliamentary seats out 298, where results were announced.
Over her last 10 years as Prime Minister, Hasina took up many development projects, from power generation to the building of a seaport and the country is going to enter the golden age for the next five years under her leadership, observers say.
People voted her to power again for the development bonanza as she took up many big projects, including construction of the Padma multipurpose bridge, a nuclear power plant and metro rail system for Dhaka.
Sheikh Hasina, the eldest child of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was born on September 28 in 1947. She married M. A. Wazed Miah in 1968. Her husband died on May 9, 2009. She has one son, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, and one daughter, Saima Wazed Hossain Putul.
Her chequered political career has spanned more than four decades. She previously served as opposition leader from 1986 to 1990 and from 1991 to 1995, as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001. In January 2014, she became Prime Minister for a third term and she won a fourth term on December 30 in 2018. She is the longest serving prime minister in the history of Bangladesh.
Hasina was elected to the leadership of the AL, a 'left-of-centre' party, on February 16, 1981, while she was in exile. Now has become the longest serving top leader of the country's largest political party, which is unique for any multiparty democracy across the world.
Hasina and her younger sister Rehana survived the massacre on August 15 in 1975, in which their father Sheikh Mujib and all other members of the family were assassinated, as they were abroad at that time. Subsequently she spent six years in exile as she was not allowed to return to the country.
She returned home on May 17 in 1981 and became a prominent and outspoken advocate of democracy, which resulted in her placement under house arrest on numerous occasions throughout the 1980s.
In December 1990, the last military leader, Gen HM Ershad, resigned in response to an ultimatum issued by Hasina and broadly supported by the people of Bangladesh.
The economy of Bangladesh grew steadily during Hasina's first tenure (1996-2001) as Prime Minister, though BNP enforced continuous strikes and resorted to violence boycotting the parliament to put the country in political disarray.
Despite such adversity, Hasina remained in office and completed a full five-year term as the first Prime Minister since independence.
Her government opened the telecom industry in the private sector which till then was limited to government owned companies. In 1999 the government started the
New Industrial Policy (NIP) which aimed to strengthen the private industry and encourage growth.
Bangladesh joined two multilateral bodies, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation. The NIP allowed foreign companies to open 100 percent owned subsidiaries.
She signed the 30 year water sharing treaty of the Ganges with India. She also signed a Peace Treaty for Chittagong Hill Tracts to end two decades long conflict and took back 62,000 refugees from Indian soil. The rebels surrendered after the treaty contributing to restore peace in the hills.
Her administration repealed the Indemnity Act, which protected the killers of Bangabandhu and initiated the trial of the killers. But the trial was halted as BNP, in association with Jamaat-e-Islami, returned to power in 2001.
However, Hasina continued her work with AL and was vocal for upholding people's democratic rights against series of killings, attacks and rise of religious militancy harboured by the Khaleda administration.
Hasina narrowly survived with injuries a government sponsored grenade attack at her rally on August 24 in 2004, in which 24 people, including the party's women's secretary Ivy Rahman, were killed.
A military-backed interim government arrested her on July 16, 2007 and she was released from jail on June 11, 2008.
Her party won a landslide victory in the election on December 29, 2008 with a two-thirds majority having 230 seats out of 299 in the house. Hasina was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the second time in January 2009.
She had to confront a major national crisis in the form of the 2009 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) revolt, just after 19 days in the office. Hasina tackled the situation successfully and ensured trial of the rebels and killers of the BDR mayhem.
In January 2010, five former military officers who had been convicted of assassinating Bangabandhu were executed, some 13 years after their trials had started during Hasina's first term as Prime Minister.
During this term, her Government led and succeeded in forming the International Crimes Tribunal, to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the genocide committed during the country's Liberation War in 1971.
In the January 2014 election, AL won a safe parliamentary majority with a total of 234 seats in the parliament. Opposition BNP boycotted the election and tried to foil it, but failed.
Her prudent leadership has contributed to a long period of political stability that has helped the country's economy grow fast. Poverty rates have fallen as the economy grew at close to eight per cent a year, faster than that of neighbouring India, contributing to jumping the GDP by 150 per cent in a decade.
The country's human development indicators, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen is fond of pointing out, are even better than its income level would indicate.
Bangladesh has become a role model in terms of governance, as the Hasina administration has managed to empower the people and especially women using various grassroots development solutions, in spite of being resource-poor.
Now, Hasina is considered one of the most powerful women in the world, ranking 26th on Forbes' list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2018 and 30th in 2017. She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers.
She has been "credited internationally" for the achievement of some of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. She achieved the fame of a "mother of humanity" by providing shelter and aid to nearly one million Rohingya refugees, who fled genocide in neighbouring Myanmar.
Hasina is a Patron of Asian University for Women, led by Chancellor Mrs Cherie Blair, and including the First Lady of Japan, HE Akie Abe, as well as Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO.