Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for her fourth term at the helm of the government on Monday (7 January 2019) following her party’s sweep of the recently held general elections, reports India Today. The oath was administered to her by President Abdul Hamid at the Durbar Hall of Bangabhaban.
The prime minister’s new cabinet will consist of 24 ministers, 19 ministers of state, as well as three state ministers. 31 of the cabinet members will reportedly be fresh faces.
Once her latest tenure is over, Sheikh Hasina would have ruled the country for a period of 20 years. The first time she was elected as the prime minister was in 1996, followed by consecutive stints in 2008 and 2014.
Sheikh Hasina is known for the historic mass movements of the 90s which forced the authoritarian leader of the country General Ershad to abdicate. Following this feat, she became the leader of the opposition in the parliament. Hasina successfully pushed for a transformation of the country’s government system from presidential to parliamentary.
In 1996, she again headed a mass movement against the authoritarian grip on power of the then ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party, forcing its leader Khaleda Zia to step down.
But now Hasina is accused by many of the same despotic tendencies which plagued previous governments; the most recent parliamentary elections were marred with accusations of widespread violence against opposition workers as well blatant vote rigging.