By Nazrul Islam ;
Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set to form the government for the fourth time in Bangladesh as President Abdul Hamid invited her to do so as the leader of the majority party in parliament, officials said on Thursday.
The swearing in of the new cabinet, to be headed by Hasina, was set at 3.30pm Monday at the Bangabhaban presidential palace.
“The President will administer the oath,” Md Joynal Abedin, press secretary to the president, told reporters.
Earlier, the Awami League unanimously reelected Hasina as leader of its parliamentary wing after the landslide election victory in Sunday’s nationwide voting, which was marred by violence and opposition allegations of rigging.
The government dismissed the allegations.
The parliamentary party of the Awami League held the meeting hours after the newly elected members of parliament took oath at the oath-taking chamber of the parliament building on Thursday morning.
“We have reelected Sheikh Hasina unanimously the leader of our parliamentary party,” AL Advisory Council Member Tofail Ahmed told reporters emerging from the meeting.
AL general secretary Obaidul Quader, also the road and bridged affairs minister, proposed Hasina as the ALPP leader. The proposal was seconded by senior party leader Amir Hossain Amu.
The newly elected lawmakers congratulated the Prime Minister for being re-elected the leader of the party’s parliamentary wing.
The party, which joined Sunday’s election along with its coalition partners, alone won in 259 seats in the 300-strong parliament. The alliance partners bagged 29 other seats while the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led opposition alliance of former prime minister Khaleda Zia secure only seven seats.
The opposition lawmakers remained absent from taking oath. If they don’t take oath in due course of time after beginning of the parliament session, their seats will fall vacant.
The opposition has decided not to join parliament as they believe the government rigged the polls. Its leaders on Thursday submit a memorandum to the election commission asking for a fresh election. But the commission earlier turned down such demand.
Replying to a question about joining of the opposition Jatiya Oikya Front lawmakers in parliament, Tofail said the representatives of all parties elected in the parliament should join.
Obaidul Quader said the AL president asked all to work in unison to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people.
“With the party’s landslide victory, the responsibility of the party leaders and activists and expectations of the people are huge … the leaders and workers will have to uphold the dignity of the public confidence,” Quder quoted the premier as saying.
Hasina, now 71 years old, served Bangladesh as prime minister for three times – 1996-2001, 2009-2014 and 2014 to now. The daughter of Bangladesh’s founder Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman, Hasina also served the country as leader of the opposition for many years.
Coming home from exile in 1981 amid severe political adversary six years after the assassination of Bangabandhu Mujib, Hasina carried out anti-autocratic movement after the then army chief Hussain Muhammad Ershad took over state power through a military coup. Ershad was ousted from the presidency in late 1990.