Hasina elected Bangladesh’s new leader

January 4th, 2009 - 12:27 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 3 (DPA) Bangladesh’s Awami League Saturday elected its chief Sheikh Hasina as Leader of the House, paving the way for her to form a new government to run the South Asian nation for the next five years.President Iajuddin Ahmed is expected to appoint Hasina as next prime minister Tuesday. The 61-year-old Awami League leader was the country’s prime minister between 1996 and 2001.

“The swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet is scheduled Tuesday evening,” Sirajul Islam, the secretary to the President, told DPA.

After the swearing-in of the League lawmakers to parliament, the party’s parliamentary wing elected Hasina as the new leader and its presidium member Zillur Rahman the deputy leader of parliament.

A total of 259 lawmakers of the League-led alliance, which secured a spectacular victory in Monday’s elections, took oath Saturday, the first-day of the two-day staggered oath-taking ceremony.

Of them, 227 are from the Awami League, 25 from the Jatiya Party and two are independents.

The MPs from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance of Khaleda Zia, the Liberal Democratic Party and two more independent lawmakers are scheduled to take oath Sunday.

The new lawmakers, their political colleagues, supporters and officials of the parliament secretariat were seen exchanging greetings inside the parliament building, guarded by contingents of law enforcers.

Bangladesh held its landmark elections Dec 29 to return the country to democratic system, ending two years rule of an army-backed interim government. The election was credited by local and international groups as free and credible.

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