Former Bangladesh prime minister refuses to quit politics

April 27th, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, April 27 (DPA) Former Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina, jailed on charges of corruption, declared Sunday that she was not quitting politics despite mounting pressure from senior party leaders to step down. “Once I thought of retiring from politics so that a new leadership emerges but now I have changed my mind,” Hasina said during a deposition in a special anti-graft court in the capital Dhaka.

She claimed her party Awami League, which had steered the country through a bloody civil war to independence from Pakistan in 1971, needs her leadership to overcome the present political uncertainty.

Hasina, who had inherited the political party from her father and founder president Sheikh Mujib ur Rahman, is being advised by colleagues in the party presidium to sit back and relax.

The 63-year old opposition leader was prime minister of the country between 2001 and 2006.

Hasina miraculously escaped from a deadly grenade carried out by suspected Islamic extremists in 2004 but suffered from serious injuries to her ears.

Hasina and her political rival, ex-premier Khaleda Zia, have both been blamed for pushing the country to the brink of absolute chaos.

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Posted in South Asia |