Bangladesh's Hasina expected be sworn as PM on Monday

Hasina, a former prime minister, led her party and allies to a two-thirds win in parliamentary elections this week.

Bangladesh's Hasina expected be sworn as PM on Monday

Sheikh Hasina, the chief of Bangladesh's victorious Awami League, is expected be sworn in as the country's next prime minister on Monday, her party said.

Hasina, a former prime minister, led her party and allies to a two-thirds win in parliamentary elections this week. Her bitter rival Begum Khaleda Zia challenged the result, but later her party said it would give Hasina a chance to govern.

"Sheikh Hasina will take oath as new prime minister likely on Monday, after her alliance members take oath as parlamentarians," Syed Ashraful Islam, a leader of the Awami League, told reporters on Friday.

Bangladesh, a calamity-prone Indian Ocean coastal country of more than 140 million people, has a history of post-election violence, usually triggered by the losing parties.

Hasina's alliance won more than two-thirds seats in the 300-member parliament, against just 31 by Khaleda's group, its worst showing in any poll.

Khaleda rejected the election, saying it has been widely rigged and did not reflect the people's choices.

But BNP's secretary-general Khandakaer Delwar Hossain said on Thursday they would let the Awami League govern to test their efficiency and to see if they delivered on promises.

The country's army-backed interim administration said it planned to hand over power by the middle of next week, even if all newly elected lawmakers had not taken their oath .

"We want to complete the transfer of power by middle of next week, but the MPs elected from the other alliance led by Begum Khaleda Zia, another ex-PM, will probably not take oath immediately," said an official of the outgoing army-backed interim government.

The army-backed interim government, headed by former central bank chief Fakhruddin Ahmed, took over in January 2007 amid political turmoil, cancelled an election due that month, imposed emergency rule and cracked down on corruption.

Analysts said the BNP's decision to allow the Awami League to govern would reduce tension and fears of violent protests that had happened in the past when either of the main parties was defeated.

"This time it is going to be different, largely because the gap between winners and losers is ocean wide," said Ataur Rahman, chairman of the Bangladesh Political Science Association. Local and international monitors billed the Dec. 29 election free, fair and credible.

Hasina has said she was ready to offer senior parliamentary posts to Khaleda and her party, and even a few ministerial positions as well, if they cooperated with her new government

Reuters
Last Mod: 02 Ocak 2009, 13:57
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