Sheikh Hasina sworn-in Bangladesh PM for second time (Lead)

January 6th, 2009 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 6 (IANS) Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of the nation’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was sworn in prime minister of Bangladesh for a second time Tuesday following her landslide victory in last month’s general election. She was premier previously 1996-2001. Hasina, 61, took the oath of office from President Iajuddin Ahmed at the ceremony held at Darbar Hall in Bangabhavan, the presidential palace.

The nine-party Grand Alliance led by her Awami League won 259 seats of the 299 that figured in Bangladesh’s ninth general election. The Awami League (AL) alone won 230 seats.

The poll left Hasina’s main political rival Begum Khaleda Zia with only 29 seats and Zia’s Islamist ally Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) with two. There were four independent winners. The country has a 300 seat parliament. Polling for one was postponed due to the death of a candidate.

Khaleda Zia and her key associates did not attend the sweatring-in of Hasina, her arch-rival. Zia sent a five-member delegation to the oath-taking ceremony.

Sheikh Hasina’s ministers who too were sworn-in at the ceremony were: Abul Maal Abdul Muhit, Matia Chowdhury, Air Vice-Marshal (retd) A.K. Khandker, Abdul Latif Siddiqui, Shafique Ahmed, Shahara Khatun, Syed Ashraful Islam, Rezaul Karim Hira, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Abul Kalam Azad, Dipu Moni, Afsarul Amin, Abdur Razzak, Syed Abul Hossain, Col (retd) Farooq Khan, G.M. Quader, Romesh Chandra Sen, Dilip Barua, Raziuddin Raju, Enamul Haque Mostafa Shahid, Nurul Islam Nahid, Abdul Latif Biswas and A.F.M. Ruhul Haque.

Among those who attended the swearing-in ceremony were: Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, army chief General Moeen U. Ahmed, anti-corruption commission chairman Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, Chief Election Commissioner A.T.M. Shamsul Huda, Chief of Bangladesh Navy Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal S.M. Ziaur Rahman, Bangladesh Bank Governor Salehuddin Ahmed, foreign envoys and Dhaka University vice chancellor S.M.A. Faiz.

A day before being sworn in, Hasina was acquitted by a Dhaka court in a case of corruption instituted against her by the outgoing caretaker government.

Bangladesh’s general election was originally scheduled in January 2007. But it was postponed following promulgation of a state of emergency Jan 11, 2007 in the wake of political violence.

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed’s caretaker government, backed by the military, had then taken over the reins of the country.

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